Where EAST meets the Northwest
WARM WELCOME. Ichiro Suzuki of the Miami Marlins waves to fans while taking
the field during batting practice before a baseball game against his former
team, the Seattle Mariners, in Seattle. Ichiro received a rousing ovation for
his first at-bat at Safeco Field as a member of the 3,000-hit club. (AP
Photo/Ted S. Warren)
From The Asian Reporter, V27, #9 (May 1, 2017), page 7.
Ichiro returns to Seattle as member of 3,000-hit club
By Jim Hoehn
The Associated Press
SEATTLE ó Ichiro Suzuki received a rousing ovation for his first at-bat in
Safeco Field as a member of the 3,000-hit club.
The Japanese star spent his first 11-and-a-half American seasons with
Seattle, getting 2,533 hits before heading to the New York Yankees and Miami
He batted ninth for Miami in his first appearance at Safeco since June 12,
2014, when he was with the Yankees.
"He deserves everything he gets," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Heís
been a great player. Heís been a great player for a long time. And obviously he
started his career in the states here. It was nice to see that."
With the Mariners leading 3-0, Ichiro grounded out to second to end the third
inning. He grounded out three times as his average dipped to .067 with one hit
in 15 at-bats. The Marlins lost 1-6.
The 43-year-old got his 3,000th career hit last season, and the Mariners had
a pregame video tribute for him on the scoreboard, followed by an introduction
at home plate with several former Seattle teammates and current players. Ichiro
also had 1,278 hits in nine seasons in Japan.
"You know itís been three years since Iíve been back," Ichiro said through a
translator. "To get that warm reception that I did get, and with the ceremony
and with having the guys come out, Edgar (Martinez) and Felix (Hernandez) and
(Kyle) Seager and (Hisashi) Iwakuma come out, just grateful. Grateful to them
and grateful to the fans. ... itís been so long.
"I could have been forgotten, but for them to do that for me I was very
thankful," he said. "It kind of reaffirms that this is a special place."
Ichiro, who played mostly right field during his time in Seattle, started in
left and made a nice running catch on Taylor Motterís drive into the corner in
the eighth inning.
"Even when I was with the Yankees, I never played left field here at Safeco,"
he said. "So this was the first view I got from that angle. That definitely kind
of felt weird, kind of was a little different. It was a different experience."
Read the current issue of The Asian Reporter in its entirety!
Go to <www.asianreporter.com/completepaper.htm>!