Yesterday former Yankee Hideki Matsui announced his retirement from Major League Baseball, aged 38, after a decade long career in the States which followed a decade playing in his native Japan.
As I think I’ve posted before, probably when his consecutive games streak ended back in ’06 – 518 games in the majors, which remains the longest streak of consecutive games played to start a career in Major League Baseball, & 1768 including his time with the Yomiuri Giants – that Hideki Matsui was one of my favourite players of the 2000s even before that magical autumn of 2009 in his last six games in pinstripes.
It was a combination of everything, from being the best slugging import from Japan into the majors – first Yankee to hit a grand slam in his first game at Yankee Stadium – to simple things like the uncomplicated manner at the plate. Plant feet, raise bat, ready.
Surely a favourite of all after the MVP winning World Series performance in 2009, hitting .615 (8 for 13) with 3 home runs and 8 RBI and tying the record for most RBIs in a single World Series game as he went 3-for-4 in the final championship clinching game, his final as a Yankee.
So Godzilla can ride off into the sunset with the picture of his wife and that stash of some 55,000 porn tapes.