Japanese baseball star Masahiro Tanaka chartered a plane to take him to New York with his family and pet dog. The former Rakuten Golden Eagles star pitcher spared no expense, as he leased an entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner to fly him, his wife, three other companions and a brown toy poodle.
Tanaka, who signed a seven-year deal with the New York Yankees worth US$155 million, told reporters that the money he used to charter the Japan Airlines (JAL) flight was from his own pocket. It reportedly cost him $195,000 to book the whole plane. “It’s a (chartered) private jet. It’s not something the Yankees have prepared,” said Tanaka. He said the reason for hiring a plane, which normally seats 200 people, is because he wanted to arrive “in best form” for spring training. Tanaka booked the aircraft even before the heavy snow that hit Japan last weekend, according to a spokesperson from JAL.
While the rest of the planes at the airport were grounded and kept from flying to New York because of the heavy snowfall, Tanaka’s chartered flight was able to lift off the ground and take him, his family and dog to his new city. However, even with the baseball sensation’s lease of a luxurious aircraft, it did not keep him from enduring an eight-hour long trip from his hotel in Tokyo to the airport, as roads were blocked because of the snow. Tanaka will hold a media conference in the Yankee Stadium when he arrives before leaving for Florida to join his new teammates for training camp.
[via NY Daily News]