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Former Yankee Hideki Matsui announced his retirement yesterday.

Hideki Matsui retired yesterday. (AP Photo/Charlotte Sun (Port Charlotte), Jennifer Bruno)

Matsui spent seven seasons with the New York Yankees (2003-09), batting .292 with 140 home runs and 597 RBIs. He also played for the Angels, Athletics and Rays.

The two-time All-Star (2003-04) did not miss a game over his first three years with the Yankees, playing 518 consecutive games. It remains the longest streak of consecutive games played to start a career in Major League Baseball.

From what I’ve heard from multiple baseball reporters is that Matsui was one of the best players to cover on a daily basis. I actually got the chance to talk with him through a translator in 2011, and he was great.

“I’ve said it numerous times over the years, but it’s worth repeating now,” Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said in a statement. “I’ve had a lot of teammates over the years with the Yankees, but I will always consider Hideki one of my favorites. The way he went about his business day in and day out was impressive.  Despite being shadowed by a large group of reporters, having the pressures of performing for his fans both in New York and Japan and becoming acclimated to the bright lights of New York City, he always remained focused and committed to his job and to those of us he shared the clubhouse with.  I have a lot of respect for Hideki.  He was someone we counted on a great deal and he’s a big reason why we became World Champions in 2009.”

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