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The New York Yankees defeated the visiting Philadelphia Phillies 7-3, Wednesday, to win the 2009 World Series, the championship round of North American Major League Baseball.
New York's Japanese-born designated hitter, Hideki Matsui, was the catalyst in the Yankees' dominating victory. Matsui drove in six of the team's seven runs in the pivotal sixth game of the Series, including a massive home run off Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez in the second inning that gave the Yankees their first two scores of the game.
Matsui also drove in two runs during his at-bats in the third and fifth innings. His exploits earned him the Most Valuable Player award for the 2009 Series, becoming the first Asian-born player, and first full-time designated hitter, to win the award. Speaking through a translator, Matsui said he was happy to take one for the team.
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" . . .was happy to be able to hit and contribute to the team's win but more than that, just, us as a team, winning the championship - by far - that is such a great feeling," he said. "I guess you can say that this is the best moment of my life right now. If I were to look back, yes, this would be the best.''
The Yankees have won 27 World Series titles over their storied history, dating back to the 1920's, making them one of the most successful sports franchises in North America. New York won this year's prize in the first year of their new $1.3-billion stadium.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi says the team was honored to win another World Series title for the franchise's 79-year-old owner, George Steinbrenner.
"This is what the Steinbrenner family has strived for year after year after year and has tried to deliver to this city of New York and George Steinbrenner and his family are champions and to be able to deliver this to the Boss, the stadium that he created and the atmosphere that he created around here, um, is very gratifying for all of us," Girardi said.
The Philadelphia Phillies were seeking to become the first National League team to win consecutive World Series since the Cincinnati Reds did it in 1975 and 1976.
New York City's mayor has scheduled a parade through Manhattan Friday, to honor the Yankees.