Nationals fan favorite Parra to play in Japan

TOKYO — Veteran outfielder Gerardo Parra has agreed to a contract with the Yomiuri Giants.

Parra, 32, has a career .276 batting average with 88 home runs and 522 RBIs over 11 seasons in the major leagues.

A native of Venezuela, Parra hit .250 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs in 89 games for the World Series champion Washington Nationals after spending the first 30 games of the 2019 season with the San Francisco Giants.

After arriving in Washington and wanting to break out of a slump, Parra changed his walk-up song to “Baby Shark” after seeing his 2-year-old daughter dancing to it. The children’s song became an anthem for the Nationals as they rallied from a 19-31 start to make the playoffs and eventually win their first World Series title.

Earlier this month during an appearance on “CBS This Morning,” Parra said the “Baby Shark” song “is inside my heart” because it gave him the chance to win a championship and made kids at the ballpark happy whenever he walked up for an at-bat.

Parra, a two-time National League Gold Glove Award winner, started his MLB career with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009 and also played for the Brewers, Orioles and Rockies.

The Yomiuri Giants are Japan’s oldest professional team and won the Central League pennant this season for the first time in five years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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