Hideki Matsui meets Mickey Mouse and friends
"I'm going to Disneyland."
Sometimes, it's actually true.
The Angels' designated hitter reached the 1,000-hit milestone with a single to right field in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians, and he spent part of Tuesday at Disneyland for a photo opportunity with several theme-park characters.
OK, so the timing was a coincidence. The public relations event had been planned for several weeks, but it just happened to fall the day after Matsui, who played 10 years in Japan and is in his eighth year in the U.S., got his big hit Monday night.
"I guess I never really pursued numbers," Matsui, speaking through an interpreter, said when asked the significance of the achievement. "I've always been focused on what I need to do to help the team win. The milestone is a result of an accumulation of going out there every day and battling and helping my team win."
Matsui may be the Japanese home run king, but he will not be the Japanese hit king. That title goes to Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who in 10 seasons, had 2,055 major league hits entering Tuesday.
Asked if he was going to catch Ichiro's hit total, Matsui said, "If I played Little League and had a doubleheader every single day, I might have a chance."
Photo: Hideki Matsui, on his first visit to Disneyland, befriends Mickey Mouse. Credit: Courtesy of Disneyland