Matsui retires from baseball

Matsui retires from baseball

NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
Matsui retires from baseball

Slugger Hideki Matsui put an end to a successful career at the age of 38. REUTERS photo

Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui, the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 World Series, announced his retirement on Dec. 27.

Matsui, 38, played professional baseball for 20 years, starring in Japan for a decade before embarking on a 10-year career in the US Major Leagues.

He was quick to make his mark with the New York Yankees, becoming the first player in club history to hit a grand slam in his Yankees debut, against Minnesota on April 8, 2003.

Matsui played for three clubs, the Angels, Oakland and Tampa Bay, over the last three seasons.

“Hideki is proof that baseball is an international attraction that brings people from all over the world together in their passion for the game,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.