This Day in Yankees History: May 11, 2006 – Hideki Matsui ends his consecutive game streak at 518 games

Hideki Matsui joined the Yankees at the Major League level in 2003, and for three years, he didn’t stop playing -- picking up Rookie of the Year recognition in 2003, and was voted to the All-Star team in 2003 and 2004. 

Photo Credit: New York Times

The then-31-year-old Matsui broke his wrist during his game appearance on May 11, 2006, thereby ending his streak of appearing in 518 consecutive games.  He set a new record, removing the title from Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks, who began his career with the Chicago Cubs in 1953 and played 424 consecutive games beginning with his first-ever MLB appearance.

Following the May 11 game, Matsui made a statement apologizing for his injury and for the time away from the lineup it resulted in. 

"Due to this injury, I feel very sorry and, at the same time, very disappointed to have let my teammates down," Matsui said in a statement. "I will do my best to fully recover and return to the field to help my team once again.”

Matsui’s then-manager, Joe Torre, showed full confidence in Matsui’s abilities and commitment.  "He's like the Rock of Gibraltar," Torre said. "You don't even think about anything that's going to keep him down."  According to Robert W. Cohen’s The 50 Greatest Players in New York Yankees History, Matsui was not sidelined for the remainder of the 2006 season.  He re-joined the Yankees’ lineup on September 12, 2006, and went 4-for-4 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

On the season in 2006, Matsui went 52-for-172, hitting .302, scoring 32 runs, striking out 23 times, with eight home runs, 29 RBIs and one stolen base. 

Article by: Mary Grace Donaldson


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