January 21, 2010

My hero, Hideki Irabu, retired, again, today

Irabu Anyone remember Hideki Irabu? The ex-Yankee of the late 1990s came out of retirement last year to pitch in the Golden Baseball League and eventually drew interest from a Japanese baseball team. After a wrist injury, he was released, and today he has announced his retirement, again.

"I've decided to retire and consider what to do next in my life," said Irabu, who last pitched in the majors for the Rangers back in 2002.

So sad. I was hoping the 40-year-old would re-sign with the Yankees this year to fill the void of a veteran in the bullpen…

Some of you might be wondering why I’ve always liked this guy. Well, here’s the history behind it. Back when I was around 10 years old, a casual fan, I went to see him start a game at Yankee Stadium. My dad told me before the game he tends to be wild at times, so I shouldn’t expect much. He was right. I remember he ended up getting rocked like my dad expected, and I gained this lighthearted, lovable-loser attitude for him.

If this is my last post about him, please remember him the way I did when I featured him as my Yankee Card of the Week on Aug. 17, 2009.

I know some of you older fans think of him as the duplicate of Kei Igawa. It’s a pretty fair comparison, I must admit, but I still love the guy and I wish him a happy life after baseball.

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