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Hideki Matsui was the starting pitcher for an NYC rec league championship game this weekend

All photos by Benjamin Norman.

During the sixth inning of a 1-0 game on Sunday, Hideki Matsui was on the mound with the bases loaded. And then the former NPB and MLB slugger hit a batter to tie the game.


Matsui, retired from professional baseball and working as a special advisor to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, has been playing ball in the Nippon Club recreational league in New York City with, among others, "a corrections officer, a television cameraman, a human resources manager, accountants, bond traders and a hairdresser."

The New York Times' Billy Witz was there for the Club's President Cup championship game to see Matsui pitch -- and bat right-handed -- in person:

"Matsui treated his teammates Sunday as if they were Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. He sat on the bench cheering their at-bats, offered glove taps for nice plays, and tapped his chest when a pitch got away, indicating it was his fault. … On the mound, Matsui was dominant, but the searing heat began to take its toll. With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, John Zhang, the team's relief pitcher, came out to visit Matsui. … Matsui, who had allowed one hit, struck out 10 and threw 96 pitches, retreated to more familiar ground in center field."

And photographer Benjamin Norman (whose work you can see here) captured the action: 


Matsui pitches for Team Matsui, a team he sponsors himself, and bats right-handed to level the playing field a bit. After 12 innings on Sunday, his team won, 2-1.

Between this and a charitiy home run derby earlier this year, it appears Matsui has been successfully staving off baseball withdrawals.