Hideki Irabu found dead in California

Updated: July 30, 2011, 1:50 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Hideki Irabu joined the New York Yankees 14 years ago in a swell of international excitement. The quirky, flamethrowing Japanese right-hander seemed destined to become a pioneering star for American baseball's marquee franchise.

Irabu never reached those enormous expectations, and his career spiraled. On Wednesday, the 42-year-old was found dead, an apparent suicide in a home in Rancho Palos Verdes, a wealthy Los Angeles suburb.

"He was a world-class pitcher," ...

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