Hideki Matsui to retire as a Yankee

Updated: May 31, 2013, 4:22 PM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Hideki Matsui will sign a one-day minor league contract with the New York Yankees in late July so he can retire with the franchise.

Prior to the July 28 game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium, Matsui will ink the deal and the Yankees will dedicate the day to honoring him. The first 18,000 fans will receive Matsui bobbleheads, which portray him with his 2009 World Series MVP trophy.

The Yankees picked the late-July date because it was originally the team's 55th home game of the season. Matsui wore No. 55.

Matsui, 38, played seven seasons with the Yankees, hitting .292 with 140 homers and 597 RBIs. His pinstripe career ended when the Yankees won the 2009 World Series against the Phillies. Matsui hit .615 with three homers and eight RBIs during the Series and was named MVP.

In Game 6, Matsui went 3-for-4 with a home run and six RBIs. He tied Bobby Richardson (1960) and Albert Pujols (2011) for the most World Series RBIs in one game.

"You'll hear every player to a man say what a great teammate he was," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "And I think everyone will look forward to that day."

Matsui played 10 years with the Yomiuri Giants before coming to the Yankees. After he left the Yankees, he played one season each with the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland A's and Rays. He was released by Tampa Bay last August.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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