Former New York Yankee pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead on Wednesday. His body was reportedly found by his friend. He was 42 years old.
It appears that Irabu committed suicide by hanging himself, law enforcement sources told TMZ.
The Ex-Japanese baseball joined the Yankees in 1997 after nine seasons in Japan.
He was sold to the San Diego Padres in 1997 but refused to play for the Padres and was traded to the Yankees, the only American team that Irabu said he would play for.
Irabu grabbed World Series rings with the Yankees in two consecutive years, 1998 and 1999. However, his under-performance stirred the anger of team owner George Steinbrenner who famously called Irabu a "fat toad."
He was traded to Montreal for Jake Westrbook in 2000. Then, Irabu returned to Japan play for the Hanshin Tigers in 2003. In 2009, he also pitched in the the Long Beach Armada of the independent Golden Baseball League in 2009.
He had two children with his wife. They lived in Los Angeles area and ran a Japanese restaurant.
He recorded 34 wins and 35 losses with 16 saves in the major leagues, with a 5.15 ERA.