|Current Team:||Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles|
|Birth Day:||October 23, 1975|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He played baseball for the renowned PL Academy Senior High School, where he was their star pitcher.
Kazuo Matsui plays for the team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
|#2||Hisashi Iwakuma||39||N/A||10 million USD (2016)||Japan|
|#3||Jonny Gomes||40||N/A||4 million USD (2015)||United States|
Matsui was chosen third overall by the Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball's Pacific League in the 1994 Japanese League Draft, where he would wear number 32. In 1996, his third season, he became a regular starter as a shortstop and finished the season second in stolen bases (50). Prior to the 1997 season, he would change his number to 7. The 1997 season saw him reach a .300 batting average for the first time and lead the league in stolen bases (62) to help his team win the Pacific League Title. During the 1997 All-Star Game he set a new All-Star Game record by stealing four bases and was chosen the game MVP. Matsui would lead the Pacific League in stolen bases for two more consecutive seasons.
With the Mets, Matsui hit home runs in his first plate appearance in each of the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only Major League player to hit a home run in his first plate appearance of his first three seasons. The only other player to hit a home run in even his first at-bat of three consecutive seasons was Ken Griffey, Jr. In 2004, Matsui homered on the first pitch from Russ Ortiz of the Atlanta Braves leading off the first inning, in 2005, on the sixth pitch from Paul Wilson of the Cincinnati Reds with one out in the first inning, and in 2006, on the fourth pitch from Jake Peavy of the San Diego Padres with no outs in the top of the third. The third home run is notable for being an inside-the-park home run. He slid into home as his former Met teammate Mike Piazza was blocking the plate.
Matsui played 114 games in 2004 (the most games he has played so far in his MLB career). He hit .272 with 125 hits, 32 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs, 44 RBI, 65 runs, 14 stolen bases, 5 sacrifice hits, 40 walks and 182 total bases. His hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, walks, and total bases currently remain career highs.
Based on his performance in Japan, Matsui was expected to excel defensively as a shortstop with the Mets. However, in 2004, Matsui committed many errors and misjudgments at the position, and was made the second baseman for 2005. He was also plagued by injuries, which were not a problem for him in Japan. His offensive production was also much lower than anticipated. By mid-2005, he was no longer an everyday player, sharing time at second base with Miguel Cairo and Marlon Anderson. Matsui finished the season batting .255 with three home runs and 24 RBI.
Matsui began the 2006 season by hitting .200 (26-for-130) with 10 runs, six doubles, one home run and seven RBI. The one home run came on an inside-the-park home run against the San Diego Padres on April 20, 2006. Matsui became the first player since 1975 to hit an inside-the-park home run as his first home run of the season.
On June 9, 2006, Matsui was traded to the Colorado Rockies for Eli Marrero. Colorado asked that Matsui waive certain clauses in his contract and he agreed. Once complete, Matsui was sent down to play with the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox for about two and a half months. Matsui made his Rockies debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on August 23, 2006, starting at shortstop in place of Clint Barmes. Matsui would soon shift to second base. Through 2006 he improved from .200/.235/.269 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in his 130 at bats as a Met, to hitting .345/.392/.504 in 113 at bats as a member of the Rockies.
Matsui's performance improved during the 2007 season with the Rockies, as he hit .288, which was higher than his career average. He had career highs in runs (84), triples (6), stolen bases (32) and sacrifice hits (8) in 2007. Matsui was also first in the majors in scoring percentage (47%) when reaching base.
On December 1, 2007, Matsui signed a three-year, $16.5-million deal with the Houston Astros.
In 2009, he led all major league starting second basemen in range factor, at 5.33.
Matsui was released by the Houston Astros on May 19, 2010. In 71 at bats, Matsui managed only a .141 batting average with 1 RBI and 1 stolen base.
After the 2010 season, Matsui signed with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).
On November 17, 2017, Matsui signed with the Saitama Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).
On September 27, 2018, he announced retirement after the season.
Currently, Kazuo Matsui is 46 years, 2 months and 28 days old. Kazuo Matsui will celebrate 47th birthday on a Sunday 23rd of October 2022.
Find out about Kazuo Matsui birthday activities in timeline view here.