Ichiro Suzuki has made a career out of milestones and memorable moments. Very few, if any, will top the moment he created on Wednesday afternoon in his potential final game at Safeco Field in Seattle.
The day was all about Ichiro as his current team, the Miami Marlins, wrapped up a three-game series in Seattle. Prior to the game, the Mariners gave away double bobbleheads honoring Ichiro’s legacy with both franchises and his feat of reaching 3,000 hits in MLB, which occurred last season.
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The giveaway had fans lined up for hours before the game. However, most fans would tell you the main attraction was the opportunity to see Ichiro play one (perhaps) final game in the city where he spent the first 12-plus seasons of his MLB career.
They were granted that opportunity when manager Don Mattingly penciled in Ichiro as Miami’s ninth hitter and starting right fielder. Ichiro rewarded his manager and gave the fans even more than they could have hoped for, launching a ninth-inning home run in what could prove to be his final at-bat in Seattle.
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What a truly awesome moment.
Television cameras caught Ichrio being congratulated by both Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano of the Mariners as he rounded the bases, so the moment clearly meant a lot to everyone involved.
It’s also worth noting this is Ichiro’s first career home run against his former team. He’s now homered against every current American League team except for the Houston Astros. Meanwhile, his last home run in Seattle came on April 18, 2012, against the Cleveland Indians.
As Ichiro has said many times, he’s going to play for as long as his body will allow him. If that means playing until he’s 50, that’s what he’s set on doing. That means we can’t completely rule out anything, including playing another game in Seattle or even for Seattle.
But if this indeed was his final game at Safeco Field, except for the fact that the Marlins lost 10-5, Ichiro could not have written a better ending.
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