Front 7, Please
Join Date: Dec 2005
Sorry to hold things up...
Killericon selects OF Hideki Matsui...
Matsui was born in Neagari, Ishikawa, Japan (later merged into Nomi, Ishikawa). He started playing baseball when he was in elementary school. According to an interview on YES Network's "CenterStage," Matsui originally batted right-handed as a child. However, when he started playing with his older brother and his friends, Matsui was such a good batter that his embarrassed brother insisted that he bat left-handed or stop playing with them. Matsui soon enough became an overpowering left-handed batter, and stayed on that side of the plate from then on. Matsui's stance is somewhat eccentric because he does not place any movement on his bat.
Matsui participated in four National High School Baseball Tournaments at Koshien Stadium, once in the spring and three times in summer, during his high school years. In 1992, he drew five consecutive intentional walks in a game at Koshien and became a nationwide topic in Japan at that time (partly because intentionally walking batters was very uncommon in Japan at that time), even though the strategy worked and his team lost. Matsui graduated from Seiryo High School in Kanazawa, Ishikawa.
Following high school Matsui was drafted by the Yomiuri Giants in the first round. Based in Tokyo, the Giants are Japan's most famous and, by far, most successful baseball franchise. Coincidentally, Yomiuri is often referred to by fans and detractors alike as the "New York Yankees of the Japanese Baseball League."
A three-time MVP in the Japanese Central League (1996, 2000, and 2002), Matsui led his team into four Japan Series and winning three titles (1994, 2000 and 2002). He also made nine consecutive all-star games and led the league in home runs and RBIs three times (1998, 2002, and 2002). His single season mark for home runs was 50 in 2002, his final season in Japan. In the ten seasons he played in Japan, Matsui totalled 1268 games played, 4572 AB, 1390 hits, 901 runs, 332 home runs, 889 RBIs, a .304 batting average, and a .582 slugging percentage.
His first trip to the Japan Series became well-known. Because of the MLBPA Players' Strike in 1994, Matsui became known to the American media, as media outlets (including those in Minnesota, who was there covering two players with Minnesota ties, Philadelphia, and Washington) were covering the Series, which was referred in Sports Illustrated as "the" Fall Classic.
Matsui signed a three-year contract with the New York Yankees on January 14, 2003. A parade was held for him in Tokyo to celebrate his signing with the Yankees and many reporters and photographers followed him to MLB from his home in Tokyo. In the 2003 Yankee home opener, Matsui became the first Yankee to hit a grand slam in his first game at Yankee Stadium. Matsui went on to hit .287 with 16 home runs and 106 RBI. In his second season, Matsui finished 2004 with a .298 average with 31 home runs and 108 RBIs. In 2005, Matsui hit a career high .305 and 116 RBIs.
Matsui signed a four-year deal for $52 million dollars, surpassing Ichiro Suzuki as the highest paid Japanese player in baseball, and securing his place with the Yankees through 2009.
Matsui did not miss a game in his first three seasons with the Yankees, putting together a streak of 518 games played. Before that, he played in 1,250 consecutive games with Yomiuri, for a total professional baseball streak of 1,768.
On May 11, 2006, in his 519th game with the Yankees, Matsui fractured his left wrist on an unsuccessful sliding catch in the top of the first inning against the Boston Red Sox. The game did not count toward Matsui's streak, as a player must field for at least half an inning or take an at-bat to be credited with a game played (MLB rule 10.24). Matsui underwent surgery on May 12, 2006. He is expected to return in three months. Matsui himself stated "I will do my best to fully recover and return to the field to help my team once again."
Killericon selects manager Jimmy Dykes.
James Joseph Dykes (November 10, 1896 - June 15, 1976) was an American third and second baseman, manager and coach in Major League Baseball who played for the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox from 1918 to 1939. He batted over .300 five times and led the American League in assists once at second base and twice at third base, ending his career sixth in AL history in games at third base (1253), and seventh in putouts (1361), assists (2403), total chances (3952) and double plays (199). When he retired, he ranked eighth in AL history in games played (2282), and ninth in at bats (8046). He holds the Athletics franchise record for career doubles (365), and formerly held team marks for career games and at bats. He went on to become the winningest manager in White Sox history with 899 victories over 13 seasons, though his teams never finished above third place; he later became the first manager in history to win 1000 games without capturing a league pennant.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dykes batted and threw right-handed. He started his major league career on May 6, 1918 as a second baseman for the Athletics, and served in the wartime Army after the season ended. He spent most of 1919 in the minor leagues after reporting out of shape in spring training, but quickly became one of manager Connie Mack's favorite players with his defensive versatility and easygoing manner, and remained with the club for the next 14 years, primarily at third base. With powerful wrists and reputedly the sport's best throwing arm, he took advantage of Shibe Park's friendly dimensions to finish among the league leaders in home runs in 1921 and 1922, and batted .312, .323 and .324 in 1924, 1925 and 1927, being named team MVP in 1924 and placing eighth in the league MVP vote in 1927. In one 1927 game, he played every position exccept catcher and left field, even appearing as a relief pitcher. In 1929 he batted .327 and was ninth in the AL in slugging average as the Athletics won their first pennant in 15 years. He capped the season by hitting .421 in the World Series against the Chicago Cubs; in Game 4, he had two hits and 3 runs batted in in a 10-run seventh inning as Philadelphia overcame an 8-0 deficit, and they won the Series in five games.
In 1930 Dykes batted .301 as the Athletics repeated as champions; in the 1930 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, he batted only .222, but drove in the winning run in Game 1 and had a 2-run home run in the final Game 6, a 7-1 victory. In 1931 his batting average dropped to .273 as Philadelphia won its third straight pennant; but they lost their rematch with the Cardinals as he hit .227 in the 7-game Series. At the end of the 1932 season, after a disappointing year for the team, Dykes was sold to the White Sox together with Al Simmons and Mule Haas in order to keep the franchise afloat during the Depression; with the Sox, he was selected to the first two All-Star Games in 1933 and 1934. Early in the latter season he succeeded Lew Fonseca as White Sox manager; he was a player-manager from 1934 through 1939, and after retiring as a player continued as manager until early 1946. Prior to his retirement as a player, he was the last active major leaguer who had played in the 1910s. In 22 seasons, Dykes was a career .280 hitter with 2256 hits, 108 home runs, 1108 runs and 1071 RBI in 2282 games, along with 453 doubles and 90 triples. His 115 times being hit by a pitch ranked second in AL history behind Kid Elberfeld's 142, and his 850 strikeouts ranked fourth in major league history. His Athletics team records of 1702 games and 6023 at bats were broken in the 1970s by Bert Campaneris after the franchise relocated to Oakland.
As a manager, he proved more combative and argumentative than he had been as a player, and was often fined and suspended; his 62 ejections were among the all-time top ten when he retired. After Ted Lyons replaced him as the Chicago manager, Dykes managed two years in the minor leagues with the Hollywood Stars. He returned to the majors in 1949 as a coach with the Athletics; one year later, the legendary Mack retired after 50 years managing his team, naming Dykes to the formidable task as his successor for the 1951 season. Mack, who also owned the club, maintained his position as president of the club and Dykes remained as manager until the end of the 1953 pennant race.
Named the Baltimore Orioles' first manager in 1954 after that franchise relocated from St. Louis, Dykes left in a team reorganization which ended with Paul Richards becoming both field and general manager in 1955. Dykes then ended his 35 years in the American League when he became a coach with the National League's Cincinnati Redlegs, leading them as interim manager for part of 1958. But he came back to the AL as manager of the Detroit Tigers in 1959. At that point, Frank Lane, then general manager of the Cleveland Indians and famous for his numerous transactions, sent Joe Gordon to Detroit and brought Dykes to Cleveland in a rare trade of managers. Dykes managed the Indians from 1960-61.
In 21 seasons as a manager, Dykes compiled a 1406-1541 record; he never won a pennant, and his highest finish was third place. He ended his 44-year major league career in 1964 after completing three seasons of coaching for the Milwaukee Braves and the Athletics, who had relocated to Kansas City by that time. Although he had a different style of managing his teams, Dykes had authority, was testy and combative; he liked to make use of his entire roster and was regarded as a motivator of players.
Dykes died in Philadelphia at age 79.
C - Mike Piazza
1B - Mark Grace
2B - Eddie Collins
SS - Cal Ripken Jr.
3B - Harold "Pie" Traynor
LF - Sammy Sosa
CF - Ken Griffey Jr.
RF - Henry "Hank" Aaron
DH - Mark McGuire
SP - Lefty Grove
SP - Roy Halladay
SP - Phil Niekro
SP - David Wells
SP - Kenny Rogers
CL - Trevor Hoffman
RP - Hoyt Wilhem
RP - Billy Koch
Manager - Jimmy Dykes
OF - Vernon Wells
1B/2B - Carlos Delgado
1B - Sadaharu Oh
OF - Hideki Matsui