Former Yankee outfielder Hideki Matsui has been elected into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, according to The Japan Times. At 43-years-old, the 2009 World Series MVP becomes the youngest player bestowed with the honor. He received 91.3% of the votes (336 of 368) and is one of just six Japanese players to make it in on their first year of eligibilty.
Godzilla won MVP honors in Japan’s Central League in 1996, 2000 and 2002 before coming to the MLB prior to the 2003 season. He played seven seasons for the Yankees, hitting .292 with 140 home runs and had four seasons with at least 100 RBI. His .615 average, three home runs and eight RBI in the 2009 Fall Classic were vital in winning the franchise’s 27th championship.
He ended his career by spending time with the Angels in 2010, the Athletics in 2011 and the Rays in 2012. Between Japan and the United States, he racked up 507 home runs.
“I played as a professional baseball player for 20 years, but I only played in NPB for half of the time, 10 years,” Matsui said in a statement. “I was given the honor of being selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame, nevertheless. And I would like to express my appreciation to those concerned.”
Matsui is on the ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the States for the first time this year.