Daisuke Matsuzaka entered the American Major League in 2006 after pitching eight years in Japan’s major baseball league.
He signed a widely publicized six-year $52 million contract with the Boston Red Sox after the team out-bid other franchises.
An integral part of the 2007 World Series championship team, Matsuzaka was the first Japanese pitcher to start and win a game in the series’ history.
His popularity in Japan has continued to grow. Baseball players born between April 1980 and 1981 have been called the “Matsuzaka Generation.”