The New York Yankees will honor the illustrious career of Hideki Matsui before their scheduled 1:05 p.m. game on Sunday, July 28 vs. Tampa Bay.
Matsui will sign a one-day minor league contract with the Yankees on July 28 in order to announce his official retirement that day as a New York Yankee. His parents are also expected to be in attendance at the game.
Additionally, on July 28, the Yankees will hold a special pregame homeplate ceremony for Matsui, and the first 18,000 Guests at the game will receive a Hideki Matsui bobblehead presented by AT&T - which portrays the slugger with his 2009 World Series MVP trophy.
In honor of Matsui, who wore uniform No. 55 with the Yankees, the day's events are to take place on the Yankees' originally scheduled 55th home game of the 2013 season.
Matsui was also recently honored by the Yomiuri Giants - whom he played for 10 seasons from 1993-2002 - in a ceremony at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on May 5. During the event, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presented Matsui with the People's Honor Award, the most prestigious award in Japan bestowed on those who have made significant achievements in their careers and are beloved by the public.
Matsui - nicknamed 'Godzilla' - spent seven seasons with the New York Yankees (2003-09), combining to bat .292 (977-for-3,348) with 536 runs, 196 doubles, 140 home runs and 597 RBI. He was originally signed by the Yankees as a free agent on January 14, 2003, following his 10-year career in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants.
The two-time All-Star (2003-04) did not miss a game over his first three years with the Yankees, playing 518 consecutive games- which remains the longest streak of consecutive games played to start a career in Major League Baseball. He also drove in at least 100 runs four times during his MLB career, including each of his first three seasons.
In his final game as a Yankee, Matsui went 3-for-4 with a home run and six RBI in the Yankees' World Series-clinching Game 6 win vs. Philadelphia on November 4, 2009. His performance tied the all-time single-game World Series RBI record (also the Yankees' Bobby Richardson in 1960 and Albert Pujols in 2011), and sealed Matsui's unanimous selection as the World Series MVP.