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December 19, 2003

Little Matsui in the Big Apple

There's no doubting his ability on the field, but Kazuo Matsui, the former Seibu Lions shortstop who recently signed to play with the New York Mets next season, is eager to work on his English skills. On a recent visit to his newly adopted hometown, he greeted the press with his trademark cheerful smile and a self introduction, "Hello everybody. My name is Kazuo Matsui. I love New York." The seven-time All Star is known as "Little Matsui" in comparison to the bigger Hideki Matsui who joined the crosstown Yankees last season, or just "Kaz." At a later news conference he talked about his study plans. "I really want to study English," Matsui said. "There is an expression in Japanese, 'Even if I could do it one day quicker,' I wish I could speak with all of you guys; the sooner, the better. I want to be able to speak with my teammates, to be able to have conversations with them. It will help me with my team. I'm going to be very active in studying English."

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