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Hideki Matsui hits 500th career home run

Jul 20, 2011, 9:10 PM EDT

Hideki Matsui Reuters

Hideki Matsui, who hit 332 homers in Japan before signing with the Yankees in 2003, hit his 168th MLB homer Wednesday off the Tigers’ Duane Below in Oakland’s 7-5 victory.  Add it all up and that’s 500 career home runs for Godzilla.

Matsui has seven homers so far this season.  A two-time All-Star in the U.S., he had his best season with the Yankees in 2004, hitting 31 homers in 584 at-bats.  He peaked two years earlier in Japan, hitting 50 homers on his way to his third MVP award as a Yomiuri Giant.

Matsui also went over 2,500 hits and 1,600 RBI earlier this season.  He’s a career .285/.364/.469 hitter with 722 RBI in 1,142 games in the majors.

  1. ditto65 - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    Oh, No! They say he’s got to go! Way to go GODZILLA!

  2. yankeesfanlen - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Godzilla gave us Yankees fans some memorable wins. 2009 World Series MVP was well deserved.
    I always like his translator Roger. In a postgame interview, he would always throw in a “cool” or “dude” in Matsui’s answers.
    Have to learn Japanese someday to see if it was real.

    • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:19 PM

      Japanese is easy. Just pronounce the words in English and keep moving your lips for a second when you’re finished.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Good for Matsui. A class guy and a professional hitter. I hated that the Yankees decided to let him go and think they could replace him with that stiff Nick Johnson.

  4. jwbiii - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Lotsa baseball cards.

  5. florida76 - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    With all due respect to the professional players in Japan, it’s a bad idea to start adding numbers from minor league baseball to whatever numbers MLB players earn at the highest level. Matsui is a very good player, but he wouldn’t have anywhere near 2500 hits, 1600 rbi, and 500 hr had he played his entire career in this country.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 21, 2011 at 8:49 AM

      Although I agree with you about adding the numbers, I do disagree about Matsui not coming close if he had played his entire career here. I think him and Ichiro both are good enough to had great careers here.

  6. APBA Guy - Jul 21, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    Interesting story to follow up is as the game ended, the kid who caught Matsui’s HR had not returned it, but was in discussions (along with his parents) as he was leaving his seat accompanied by stadium security and Japanese media.

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