Tag Archives: Ichiro Suzuki

“Ichiro the Pitcher in Japan”

Great story from MLB Fan Cave.   Ichiro Suzuki started his baseball career in high school as a pitcher, regularly throwing 75-85 and occasionally 90 mph.  But in his last year, playing as an outfielder with a .505 batting average and 19 home runs, it was determined he should remain in the outfield. 

I love these Japanese baseball videos.  The fans are always wild and enthusiastic, a little crazy.  They love their baseball!  Listening to the announcers is a hoot, and even though I don’t have the faintest idea what they’re saying, you can always use your imagination.   Japan has won the last two World Baseball Classics and has won their first round for the 2012 Classic.  We might be seeing them in San Francisco at the Finals in March, minus Ichiro, who’s decided to sit this one out.  

A World Classic Final between Japan and USA at AT&T Park in March, 2013.  Now that would be something to see.   It could happen ~ stay tuned!

There are no Constants in Baseball ~ It’s a Fickle Game

Ichiro’s been on my mind today.  I don’t even have to use his last name.  Everyone knows who he is.   It’s not really a surprise he’s leaving.  He’s been with the Mariners for a long time and we knew he was  destined for other things in the near future.  But I never thought in a million years he’d end up a Yankee.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there’s just something so unsacred about the  idea of it all.

Back in 1962,  I was given an assignment in my business college marketing class to interview someone in business and to make a proposal or suggestion to them on how they could improve their business.   Most of my classmates chose their dad or another family member to interview.  I chose to interview the General Manager of the Portland Beavers, an AAA-Affiliate of the Kansas City Athletics.   I was 18 at the time.

I was obsessed with this project and spent a lot of time on it and the fact that I’d actually gotten the interview was more than my young years could fathom.   I knew before I made the trip to the ballpark what my proposal to the GM was going to be.   Attendance at the ballpark had been very low the past year and I thought it would be a great idea to have the organization offer a “Ladies Night” once a week,  with free admission to all the ladies.  I thought there was a good possibility it might not only get the wives there with their husbands but possibly the entire family, thereby increasing concessions also.

When the day arrived for my meeting with the GM I was really excited, not only about the interview but also of  maneuvering my way through Multnomah Stadium to the Administration Offices by myself,  with my very own written proposal in hand.   The manager was very cordial and listened with intent to my proposal and thanked me for my interest.   When the interview was over, it lasted about an hour, he gave me  complimentary game tickets  and invited me to keep in touch.  It was a wonderful day.  I got an “A” in Marketing that year.

A few weeks later, complimentary tickets in hand,  I invited some friends to attend a game with me and, honestly,  I felt like I owned the place.  I felt like a VIP and the experience is just as vivid today as it was 50 years ago.  The Portland Beavers maintained nearly a 103 year presence in that city but on September 6, 2010, they played their last game at the hometown park.  The city was making room for the Portland Timbers, an MLS  Soccer team.  Portland no longer has a baseball team.  The Beavers continue today in Tucson, Arizona, as a Triple-A affiliate with the San Diego Padres.

The point I’m trying to make is that baseball’s a fickle game.  There’s no constants  in baseball.  The managers change, the players change and sometimes even the hometown locale changes.    Usually we adapt, but  it isn’t easy. To tell you the truth I still miss Cody Ross.  He was with the Giants for such a short time, but while he was here his presence was huge.

Ichiro Suzuki

And for sure the Mariner fans are going to miss Ichiro.  You could sit in the nosebleed section of the bleachers in right field and, without hearing the announcer,  know it was Ichiro at the plate.   He had this way of holding his bat, butt handle  straight up as if he was holding a rifle with a precision periscope on it, sizing up where he was going to slam the ball with the next pitch.

Ichiro’s an artist.  And I’m going to miss him too.  Does this mean I’ll have to start watching the Yankees again?  If last night’s Mariner-Yankee game  is any indication, it could happen.  Baseball’s a fickle game you know.

Ichiro At the Bat in Tokyo!

Ichiro at the Bat in Tokyo, March, 2012. Courtesy this morning of Drew Silva, NBC Hardball.

“From Jeff Baker of the Seattle Times comes this shot of Mariners outfielder and native of Japan Ichiro Suzuki getting ready to bat in Saturday’s exhibition game against the Hanshin Tigers. The Mariners lost the game 5-0 in front of a raucous sold out crowd of 55,000 at the Tokyo Dome.”   Drew Silva, NBC Hardball. 

I love this picture, probably because it’s rumored and most likely true that 2012 will probably be Ichiro Suzuki’s last year not only as a Seattle Mariner, but also in Major League Baseball.   I hear he’ll probably be returning to baseball in Japan and who could blame him?  Evidently you can mail a letter to Ichiro in Japan, addressed only to “Ichiro” and he’ll get it.  That’s how popular he is in Japan and he may be just as popular here,  especially in the Seattle area.

The Seattle Mariners are in Japan for a two-day stand to open the 2012 regular season against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  Wouldn’t you just love to be there?   But hang tough. We’re almost there – to opening day I mean!

Baseball Videos? These Come With a Warning!

Okay, maybe things were a little slow here today.  I mean there’s still a few more months until Spring Training and the football menu’s been a little lean since  Green Bay and the Niners  clinched their divisions, at least here at our house.   I spent way too much time looking at YouTube this afternoon, but did come up with a few little ditties to share with you.   Honestly, this stuff is addictive.  Take a look and you’ll see what I mean.

Geez!  They must have a really wide strike zone in Japan.  

Ouch!  Don’t try this at home kids.

I see a great career as a majorette if this doesn’t work out!

Seriously, this guy belongs on a football field.  Is there such a position as “baseball tackle”?

Note:  This is the end of my video selection.  If you are seeing an advertisement, my apologies.  It has been placed here without my permission. ~ Ronni, GFBB