With the news that outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is transitioning to a new role with the Seattle Mariners, Special Assistant to the Chairman, effective today, we look back to a collection of his Greatest Hits, moments throughout his career we will always remember.
In 2004, late in the season, Ichiro stepped up the plate tied with George Sisler for the record of most hits in a single baseball season (257, set in 1920). As fireworks hit the sky, Ichiro broke the record and eventually finished the season with 262 hits.
When Ichiro first arrived in Seattle for his initial season with the Mariners in 2001, perhaps we didn't fully realize the type of legendary player the M's were getting. On an early season night in Oakland, we soon found out that Ichiro was much more than a hyped hitter. His arm was "out of Star Wars."
While Ichiro was not a member of the Seattle Mariners in 2016, he hit another major career milestone in August when, with the Miami Marlins playing in Colorado, Ichiro tripled for his 3,000th career hit in Major League Baseball.
From his 3,000th hit, we look back to the beginning with the first hit of his career, coming in Seattle on April 2, 2001 against Oakland Athletics' reliever T.J. Mathews in the 7th inning. "I just remember getting that hit and how important that was...That was kind of the beginning of it all," Ichiro said of the first hit.
At the 2007 All Star Game in San Francisco, Ichiro won the All Star MVP Award thanks, in part, to his inside-the-park home run that gave the American League a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning. Ichiro then became the first Seattle Mariners All Star Game MVP since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1992.
Ichiro returned to Seattle as a member of the Miami Marlins in April 2017. In the final game of the series, in the ninth inning with the Mariners leading 10-4, Ichiro led off with a moment that made every Mariners fan happy, even if the lead shrunk by one. At the time we thought it was Ichiro's final at-bat in Seattle.
In a 2009 game against the New York Yankees, Ichiro came up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the Mariners down 2-1 and a runner on-base. The pitcher: Mariano Rivera, possibly the greatest closer of all time. Ichiro sent Safeco Field into a frenzy.
We are sure we missed other great moments from Ichiro's career so here's one video to count down the some of his greatest moments of all time.