By Sam Bush
Gerardo Parra is remembered in Washington for using the children’s song “Baby Shark” to inspire a team and its fan base on the way to the Nationals’ 2019 World Series championship.
But while his walk-up song and on-base celebrations may have galvanized the team, his on-field production was mediocre, and the Nationals declined to re-sign him after his one-year contract expired.
With an increasingly unkind free-agent market to veterans in the major leagues, Parra signed with the Yomiuri Giants when they approached him in November. Despite the long layoff and the adjustment to a new country, Parra is off to a fine start.
He got a hit on opening night after his manager challenged a close out call at first base on a ball Parra had bounced to shortstop.
With no fans in the stands, it would have made for an awkward debut for his “Baby Shark” dance.
The moment produced only a silent exchange of gestures: the umpire overturning the call with a sweeping extension of his arms and then Parra pinching his thumb and index finger together privately — just as he and his Nationals teammates had done in 2019 to celebrate singles.