4. Apr. 8, 2003
I can still hear Michael Kay’s voice:
“What an introduction to Yankee Stadium!”
Hideki Matsui, who was considered the Babe Ruth of Japanese baseball, dominated the sport in his native home land, especially in in the category home runs.
After slugging 332 home runs for the Yomiuri Giants, the Yankees signed him to a deal prior to the 2003 season and he immediately made an impact in his first game sporting Yankee pinstripes.
Facing off against the Minnesota Twins, Matsui cranked a grand slam into the bleachers in the bottom of the fifth to give his new team a 7-1 lead, and sent the Bronx crowd into a frenzy.
The Bombers went onto win 7-3, and it was the start of an epic tenure in pinstripes for “Godzilla.” He slashed .292/.370/.482 and hit 140 home runs while driving in 597 RBI’s during his seven years in New York.
He also took home the 2009 World Series MVP honors.
Note: Godzilla will throw out the ceremonial first pitch today during the ceremonies and pageantry.