Hideki Matsui retires from baseball


10:09 AM December 28th, 2012

By: Howie Rumber, December 28th, 2012 10:09 AM

In this Nov. 9, 2002, file photo, Japanese baseball star Hideki Matsui waves goodbye to cheering Yomiuri Giants fans as he walks off the field after a baseball game at the Tokyo Dome against the US major League all stars. The 38-year-old former New York Yankees’ outfielder, World Series MVP, and two-time All Star announced his retirement from baseball on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, following months of free agency after his release from the Tampa Bay Rays in August. AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File

NEW YORK — Hideki Matsui has retired from professional baseball, saying he is no longer able to perform at the level that earned him a World Series MVP with the New York Yankees and three Central League MVPs in Japan.

Matsui announced his retirement Thursday at a news conference in New York that was conducted only in Japanese and broadcast live in his home country.

The 38-year-old Matsui batted .282 with 175 homers and 760 RBIs for the Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays, having moved from the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.

Always cool under pressure, Matsui hit a grand slam in his first game at Yankee Stadium and had six RBIs in his finale with the Yankees — Game 6 of the 2009 World Series.

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