Matsui Records 450th Career Stolen Base

Matsui records 450th career stolen baseAt 39, Tohoku Rakuten Eagles outfielder Kazuo Matsui still likes to be on the run.
Matsui reached the milestone of 450 stolen bases for his 22-year career in Japan and the major leagues by swiping second base in the first inning of Friday’s game against the Chiba Lotte Marines.

“If I don’t run, it’s not me,” said Matsui, who has 348 stolen bases in Japan with the Eagles and the Saitama Seibu Lions and 102 in the major leagues.

While with Seibu, Matsui led the Pacific League in steals for three straight years from 1997. But in recent years he has suffered from chronic pain in his legs and back, and was limited to just one steal in 125 games in 2013.

Last season, he added repeated 10-meter sprints into his training regimen, which resulted in him leading the Eagles with nine steals.

“As long as I’m still playing, every [number] is just a point to be passed through. I want to increase it one by one,” Matsui said.