NEW YORK – Matt Murton, who set Nippon Professional Baseball’s single-season hit record in his 2010 debut season with the Hanshin Tigers, has decided to retire, an informed source said Saturday.
The 36-year-old Murton came to Japan as a 28-year-old and played six seasons for the Central League’s Tigers. In 2010, his 214 hits eclipsed Ichiro Suzuki’s 16-year record of 210. Shogo Akiyama of the Pacific League’s Seibu Lions set the current record of 216 in 2015.
Murton, who was the 32nd overall pick in Major League Baseball’s 2003 amateur draft, will take a front office job with the Chicago Cubs, the team he broke into the majors with in 2005.
Murton returned to the United States after the 2015 season, believing his experience adjusting to the precise breaking-ball pitching in Japan would help him land a major league job. After one year in Triple-A with the Cubs, he signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers last season, but played in just seven games.