Former New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead at his Los Angeles home Wednesday afternoon, according to multiple reports.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Arriaga said Irabu’s death was an apparent suicide, according to the Associated Press.
Irabu was 42.
Irabu’s baseball career started in 1988 in Japan, and nearly a decade later he joined the Yankees after he refused to sign with the San Diego Padres–the team that purchased his rights from the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan.
The Yankees signed the right-hander to a four-year $12.8 million deal in 1997, and in six seasons in the majors Irabu posted a record of 34-35 with a 5.15 ERA. During his three years with the Yanks, Irabu went 29-20.
His first appearance in the majors was July 10, 1997 when he pitched the Yankees to a 10-3 win over the Detroit Tigers. Joe Giradi, the Yankees current manager, was the catcher that day, and went 1-for-3 to help out his pitcher. Derek Jeter had four hits that game. Irabu struck out 9 Tigers over 6 2/3 innings for the win, which was witnessed by 51,901 fans at the old Yankee Stadium.
Irabu was a member of two World Series teams with the Yankees in ’98 and ’99. He also played for the Montreal Expos and Texas Rangers during his major league career.