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MLB: Japanese Hall of Famer Matsui honored in Yankees' pre-game ceremony

Former New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui waves to the audience during a ceremony at Yankee Stadium in New York to commemorate his induction into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, on Aug. 27, 2018. (Kyodo)

NEW YORK (Kyodo) -- Former New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui attended a ceremony at Yankee Stadium on Monday, celebrating becoming the youngest player inducted to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame early this year.

Before a game against the Chicago White Sox, Matsui entered the field to a big applause and was presented with memorial sterling silver cuff links by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for congratulating me at Yankee Stadium, even though I'm entering the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame," Matsui said. "I'm praying that the Yankees win in the playoffs."

Matsui, 44, joined the Yankees in 2003 after a successful 10-year career with the Yomiuri Giants in Nippon Professional Baseball, where he won three Central League MVP awards.

During his 10 years in the majors, including seven with the Yankees, Matsui hit .282 with 1,253 hits, 175 homers and 760 RBIs. He was named the World Series MVP in 2009.

Since 2015, Matsui has served as the general manager's special adviser for the Yankees. At 43 years, 7 months in January, he became the Japanese hall's youngest inductee, taking 91.3 percent of votes.

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