New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui is coming off an injury-shortened 2006 season. In 2007, he hopes to rebound to the form that initially brought him Western stardom in 2003, his first year in American baseball after an impressive career in Japan. Hideki Matsui: Sportsmanship, Modesty, and the Art of the Home Run is a brief but intimate bio of the man known as Godzilla. It's written by Shizuka Ijuin, an award-winning Japanese novelist who knew Matsui during his Japanese playing days. Matsui, his stern exterior notwithstanding, comes off here as a dedicated ballplayer and an honorable individual. Ijuin paints a portrait of an uncommonly determined and thoughtful athlete who struggled mightily with his decision to leave the Yomiuri Giants and stake out a claim as an elite player in the even more competitive American major leagues. Ijuin also lets readers in on Matsui's penchant for charitable giving and the genuine humility with which he has shared his wealth. The book includes a nice selection of photos of Matsui from childhood to the present day.

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