(NEW YORK) — Hideki Matsui announced his retirement Thursday after 20 seasons in Japan and the MLB.
Matsui made his debut with the Yomiuri Giants back in 1993 and led the team to three titles, including in 2002, when he was won the Most Valuable Player award.
The man known as “Godzilla” was then signed by the New York Yankees in 2003 and hit a grand slam in his first at-bat at Yankees Stadium. He went onto win a World Series with the club in 2009.
Following his career in New York, Matsui played the last three seasons with the Angels, Athletics, and Rays.
“I wanted to bat cleanup again, but the results weren’t there,” Matsui said, fighting back tears on Thursday. “I thought it was time to stop.”
Matsui batted .282 with 175 home runs in 10 seasons in New York, but was released by the Rays in August after hitting only .147 in 34 games.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
James Hanlon, CNN
Wayne Drash, CNN
Tana Bolinger, FamilyShare