Kazuo Matsui, affectionately known as “Kaz” by fans, made history in 2003 as the first Japanese infielder to sign with an MLB team. To emphasize the point, Kaz hit a home run in his first plate appearance in 2004, then repeated the feat in 2005 and 2006! The shortstop had been courted heavily by other teams after announcing his desire to play MLB. Matsui ultimately chose the Mets because they “made me feel most wanted.” The Mets issued a Matsui bobblehead in his first of three seasons in New York.
( C ) New York Mets (photo by Heritage Werks)