More often than not, the New York Yankees are bashed for their lucrative contracts and seemingly selfish ways. However, the Bronx Bombers are doing the right thing by paying homage to one of the most well-rounded outfielders in the franchise’s illustrious history.
Hideki Matsui will not make his way to the baseball Hall of Fame, but his left-handed prowess at the plate won’t be forgotten by any Yankees fan worth their salt. In response to seven great years with the club, New York has decided they will sign Matsui to a one-day minor league contract, thus giving the slugger the honor of retiring in pinstripes.
While in the Big Apple, Matsui’s biggest accomplishment was his 2009 World Series MVP Trophy. During that series versus the Philadelphia Phillies, Matsui hit a whooping .615, nailing three home runs and driving in eight runs in just 13 at-bats.
Injuries always were an issue for the outfielder as Matsui missed 218 games during his time with the Bombers. Had his health been better, the Yankees would have definitely renewed his contract in 2010 when he split for the Los Angeles Angels.
The Yankees will honor Matsui with a ceremony prior to the game on July 28. As fate would have it, that contest versus the Tampa Bay Rays is the 55th home game of the season, which goes right along with the No. 55 that the slugger wore throughout his tenure in New York. In addition, the first 18,000 fans in attendance on July 28th will receive a Matsui bobblehead.
Very few Japanese-born players are able to have the success that Matsui had at the MLB level, so it’s fantastic to see him put his stamp on America’s biggest baseball team.