NEW YORK – Former New York Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui was among the 33 players on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot that was released Monday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Matsui, who played for the Yankees, the Los Angeles Angels, the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays during his 10-year major league career, is the second Japanese after Hideo Nomo in 2014 to make the candidate list.
Although the chances of the 43-year-old being inducted into the National Hall of Fame in Cooperstown are slim, he and 18 others, including legendary switch-hitter Chipper Jones and former Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles outfielder Andruw Jones, were first-timers on the ballot joining the 14 holdovers from the 2017 balloting.
Retired San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, who ranks second all-time in saves, is considered the favorite after he narrowly missed election last year when he received 74 percent of the vote but came up short of the 75 percent required for induction.
The results of the election will be announced on Jan. 24.
A two-time All-Star, Matsui batted .282 with 175 homers in 1,236 games. He was named MVP at the World Series in 2009, where he had a record-tying six RBIs in Game 6 to help the Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies.