August 03, 2011
A grown man dressed virtually from head-to-toe as Ichiro — not just a jersey and cap, but also baseball pants and stirrup socks, along with a glove and a bat — required only one more item to complete his official-looking ensemble. A baseball.
Imitation Ichiro was ready in the bottom of the third inning when Mariners rookie Dustin Ackley(notes) lined a hit down the right-field line that rolled up the side of the grandstand at Safeco Field. From his seat in the front row, the fan stretched his body and reached his glove onto the field and picked up the ball.
Umpires called the play dead because of fan interference (and, surprisingly, awarded Ackley third base). But it left everyone asking: Why would Pseudo Ichiro do that?
Based on Ichi-Faux's reaction immediately afterward, he might have thought it to be a foul ball. His shame, regret and embarrassment only multiplied when security came for him moments later. The hilariously bizarre moment prompted this amusing exchange between Mariners TV broadcasters Dave Sims and Mike Blowers:
Sims: "Aw, come on! He had three!"
Blowers: "It was Ichiro that did it."
Sims: "Oh, no way!"
Blowers: "Yeah [laughs]!"
"Dude" is right. Any fan — surely one dressed as a 10-time All-Star — should know that you don't mess with hits by the home team. The fan and the Mariners lucked out that umpire Chris Guccione conceded third base to Ackley — who is fast and probably would have made it, but still. The Oakland Athletics lucked out in that the Mariners stranded Ackley at third.
But all of that is secondary to the comedy that was Copycat Ichiro. And now, a series of screen caps:
They don't really look too much alike. Male. Mariners uniform. Although Fake Ichiro gambled and lost on the M's wearing blue tops.
Nice stretch. But fans, just to be safe, keep your hands inside the grandstand at all times.
This is about the time Knockoff Ichiro was being told he did a no-no. Note the Ackley fan standing up for his guy in protest. Would he reach on the field to grab one of Ichiro's hits?
You mean, it was a fair ball? But...
The guy in the sling is right: This is not good for Bogus Ichiro.
I have shamed my idol and possibly cost the Mariners a base!
And now I'm no longer welcome at Safeco Field. I have to take my bat and go home.
But not before Blowers came up with one more dig:
"If he's going that far with the Ichiro gear, why couldn't he come up with a black glove?"
That will be Fake Ichiro's true shame. His lasting legacy.
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