|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2017 02:59 am||
|If he does play until he's 50, like he hopes, Ichiro Suzuki, the inimitable Japanese legend, will get plenty more opportunities to take the field in Seattle, where he delighted fans and turned himself into a franchise icon over his decade-plus with the Mariners.
If, however, Wednesday indeed marked the last time he ever steps into the box at Safeco Field, well, the 43-year-old sure left on a high note.
Playing in front of his old fans quite possibly for the final time - and the first time since joining the Miami Marlins in 2015 - the venerable outfielder made sure they went home with one last memory to cherish, launching a ninth-inning solo shot off Evan Marshall that sent 27,147 fans (who received Ichiro bobbleheads as they entered the ballpark) into a frenzy.
Ichiro, who hasn't gone deep more than once in a season since 2013, could hardly believe it himself.
"I saw the ball go over the fence, and I've got to pinch myself to make sure that that really happened," Ichiro told MLB.com's Doug Miller through an interpreter. "I feel grateful that it happened. This one will be a special one to remember for a while."
Though Ichiro, a 10-time All-Star and two-time batting champion in his dozen seasons with the Mariners, surprised himself with his unlikely display of pop, Christian Yelich wasn't all that shocked to see the future Hall of Famer go yard.
"I was sitting on the bench when he did it, and I go, 'Of course. Of course he does that,'" the Marlins center fielder said. "What else would you expect?"
Even Kyle Seager, who was in his first full season with Seattle when the Mariners shipped Ichiro to the Bronx in 2012, couldn't help but appreciate the moment.
"I had chills for him," Seager said. "That was bigger than just this game."