In his first nine professional seasons, playing for the Saitama Seibu Lions, Kazuo Matsui was electric. He did it all – hit for power and average, stole bases, and played a stellar shortstop. He was consistent, durable, and always entertaining. What a treat for Lions fans!
While his MLB career wasn’t as productive as his NPB career, he still exhibited his athleticism on the field and provided some big moments.
Matsui’s career highlights:
4× Mitsui Golden Glove Award (1997, 1998, 2002, 2003)
7× Best Nine Award at Shortstop (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003)
3× Pacific League Stolen Base Champion (1997, 1998, 1999)
2013 Japan Series champion with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
Homered on the first pitch of his MLB career and in his first at bat for the first three seasons of his MLB career (the only player to do this)