Hideki Matsui BiographyHideki Matsui wouldn't feast on your family's pet or try eating your teacher for lunch - but the Yankee slugger has lived up to his monster-like nickname in 2003. The man known as Godzilla has sent pitchers screaming from the mound in terror and has helped the New York Yankees win another World Series.
The Legend of GodzillaHideki Matsui was born on June 12, 1974 in Ishikawa, Japan. As a kid, Matsui was always much bigger than his classmates and he quickly excelled at baseball (or yakyu as it's known in Japan.) Hideki Matsui went to high school in Kanazawa, which is where he first picked up the nickname Godzilla. Matsui developed his monstrous identity, because he had a serious acne problem (which made him look a bit scary) and because he was always hitting mammoth homeruns. Hideki Matsui once hit a ball in a batting practice that cracked the tiles on the roof of his principal's house, nearly 450 feet away. Hideki Matsui's Godzilla-like reputation became legendary during the National High School Championship when he was intentionally walked five times.
Godzilla Meets the GiantsHideki Matsui was drafted by the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Central League in 1992. Over the next ten years, Hideki Matsui became one of Japan's greatest baseball players and most recognized celebrities. Hideki led the Giants to four Japanese Series titles, won three league MVP awards and three homerun crowns. Matsui Hideki also made nine straight All-Star appearances and played in 1,250 consecutive games.
Godzilla Visits New YorkIn 2003, Hideki Matsui decided to leave Japan and play Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. Many fans in Japan thought Hideki Matsui was a traitor for leaving his homeland to play in North America but Matsui's move has actually made him even more popular. More than 70 Japanese reporters follow Matsui at every Yankees' game and most New York Yankees' games are broadcast in Japan so fans can watch their favorite player. In Hideki Matsui's first season in New York, he put up Godzilla-like numbers. Matsui hit a grand-slam in his first game and finished his rookie season with 106 RBIs. Hideki Matsui was a favorite to be named the American League Rookie of the year in 2003 and was wearing a World Series ring in 2009, when his contract expired. Will her return to the Yankees as the DH in 2010.?
Hideki Matsui - Did You Know?