As the injury cart rolls into the Mariners’ camp extra early this year, it appears that former Seattle superstar Ichiro Suzuki is on his way back to the Pacific Northwest. With outfielder Ben Gamel potentially out for Opening Day with an oblique injury, Seattle can sign the 44-year-old to fill a roster spot.
Ichiro signed with the Mariners in 2001 after a phenomenal career in Japan for the Orix Blue Wave of NPB. He batted leadoff and played right field for a team that won 116 games before losing to Lucifer’s own New York Yankees in the ALCS. Oh, and he won Rookie of the Year and American League MVP in the same year, it’s whatever.
Known for his ability to get on base, laser beam throws from the outfield, Ichiro has always been fun to watch, but it his his stretching routine, which seems to never stop, that has kept him in the game for so many years. He has stated that he wants to play until he’s 50, which doesn’t look out of the realm of possibility.
This is the second time in about ten years that the Mariners have brought back a franchise icon in what appears to be the end of their career. Baseball/real life deity (in the Wilson home, as well as thousands of others) Ken Griffey Jr. came back to Seattle for the last two seasons of his career before retiring and later entering the Hall of Fame on his first ballot. What a man.
Ichiro has already reached the 3,000 hit milestone in his MLB career, he’s just looking for longevity at this point. Seattle will take him for a minute, no problem.