Former New York Yankees outfielder and 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui has been elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, according to The Japan Times.
Matsui received 91.3% (336 of 368 votes) of the vote to become the youngest player to be inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. In order to get elected into the Hall of Fame, a candidate needs to surpass 75% of the vote. Matsui is just one of six Japanese players to get inducted on their first year on the ballot.
Matsui won MVP honors in Japan's Central League in 1996, 2000 and 2002 before heading to the MLB before the 2003 season.
Matsui is also on the ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the United States for the first time. He played seven seasons for the New York Yankees and hit .292 with 140 home runs and racked up four seasons with at least 100 RBIs. Matsui was the hero of the 2009 World Series, where he hit .615 with three home runs and eight RBIs against the Philadelphia Phillies. He finished his career by spending time with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2010, the Oakland Athletics in 2011 and the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012.
Matsui hit 507 home runs combined between his careers in Japan and the United States.
“I played as a professional baseball player for 20 years, but I only played in NPB for half of the time, 10 years,” Matsui said in a statement. “I was given the honor of being selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame, nevertheless. And I would like to express my appreciation to those concerned.”
Candidates must also receive 75% of the vote to be elected into the Hall of Fame. In order for Matsui to stay on the ballot, he must receive at least 5% of the vote. The results of the vote by the Baseball Writer's Association of America will be announced on Jan. 24.
Former Hanshin Tigers outfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto and former Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara will join Matsui in the next Hall of Fame class.