Baseball / MLB

Yankees honor Hideki Matsui in pregame ceremony

Kyodo

Former New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui attended a ceremony at Yankee Stadium on Monday, celebrating becoming the youngest player inducted to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Before a game against the Chicago White Sox, Matsui walked onto the field to a big applause and was presented with memorial sterling silver cuff links by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for congratulating me at Yankee Stadium, even though I’m entering the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame,” Matsui said. “I’m praying that the Yankees win in the playoffs.”

Matsui, 44, joined the Yankees in 2003 after a successful 10-year career with the Yomiuri Giants. He earned three Central League MVP awards.

During his 10 years in the majors, including seven with the Yankees, Matsui hit .282 with 1,253 hits, 175 homers and 760 RBIs. He was named the World Series MVP in 2009.

Since 2015, Matsui has served as the general manager’s special adviser for the Yankees. At 43 years, 7 months in January, he became the Japanese hall’s youngest inductee, receiving 91.3 percent of the votes.