Japanese Slugger Matsui Retires:

Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui, the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 World Series, has announced his retirement.


38, played professional baseball for 20 years — starring in Japan for a

decade before embarking on a 10-year career in the US Major Leagues.


was quick to make his mark with the venerable New York Yankees,

becoming the first player in club history to hit a grand slam in his

Yankees debut — against Minnesota on April 8, 2003.

"I want to

thank all my fans, in the past 20 years — 10 years in Japan and 10

years in the US — who have supported me," Matsui said at a New York

press conference to announce his decision, on Thursday.

"I was supported by many fans and wonderful coaches and teammates."


played for three different clubs over the last three seasons, spending

2010 with the Angels, 2011 with Oakland and last season with Tampa Bay.