TOKYO (TR) – The museum dedicated to former New York Yankees star Hideki Matsui attracted an unprecedented number of visitors over the New Year holiday as a result of the designated hitter winning the Most Valuable Player award during last year’s World Series, reports tabloid Daily Sports (Jan. 4).
The Matsui Hideki Baseball Museum, located in his hometown of Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture, welcomed 650 fans on January 3, this year’s first day of operation. That attendance figure is triple the number of an average day.
Heavy snow was not a deterrent. Masai Matsui, the ballplayer’s father, who is the managing director of the museum, was delighted. “I saw cars lined up 20 minutes prior to the opening,” the elder Matsui beamed. “Did the MVP have an effect? I believe so.”
Once a popular star for the Yomiuri Giants, Matsui hit for a .615 average, with three homers and eight RBI, as the Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. In the off season Matsui signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
On December 23, a special World Series section was dedicated within a special section of the two-floor museum, which features jerseys, statues and video screens showing game highlights. The MVP trophy is to be exhibited starting in April. Souvenir merchandise for the Angels is expected to arrive shortly. The director also hopes to change the color of the Web site for the museum to red. (K.N.)