Ichiro Suzuki is like Raymond—everybody loves him. Seriously, find us a person who doesn’t. Seek them out, round them up, and exile them to some far-flung island until they all agree to come back and peaceably rejoin Ichiro society once more. The guy is unblemished. A 3,000-hit dynamo who could and would play any position you asked. He never got pinged for PEDs or a DUI. Hell, we can’t even remember him fighting. If you plunked him—which you wouldn’t because he wouldn’t have done anything to deserve it—he would have been content with his base. But time goes on and legends fade, which is why feel compelled to share this gentle reminder of just how DAMN GOOD Ichiro really was.
At the time of writing, this video, posted by the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, has 2.8 million views, which tells us people are getting the picture: Ichiro belongs in any conversation of baseball’s greatest. Sure, he doesn’t have the hardware to back it up, but in terms of longevity, consistency, and intangibles like skill (on full display above), he’s up there with the big and, let’s be honest, more traditionally “American” names.
Ichiro is 46 now. He’s currently special assistant to the Mariners chairman, a position that sounds like it’s plucked straight from Geroge Constanza’s tenure with the New York Yankees. But even if his playing days are finally over, I think we speak for all baseball fans when we say we hope we see him sitting in Mariners dugout before the summer is out.