It’s my 5th wedding anniversary today, so I likely won’t be around to watch whatever happens down in the great state of Florida between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Seattle Mariners this afternoon, instead opting for a surprise dinner out (I still have no idea where Tom is taking me). But I thought that in light of Ichiro’s 200th hit yesterday that I should devote this one to him – plus, it’s easy to be excited about Ichiro Suzuki, and who among us that is a Seattle Mariners fan doesn’t have a ton of photos of one of the best players to ever swing a bat?
The batting pose guaranteed to make a thousand flashbulbs go off every time he does it. It never fails to amaze me, the number of photo opportunities this man still inspires, even after 10 years of being on the team. Baseball fans cannot get enough of Ichiro. Adults love him, little kids want to be him, and there is no denying the impact he has when he steps to the plate or takes the field when he’s announced. He’s still the player that receives the biggest and loudest ovation when his name is called, still the player who gets most of the signs (usually in kanji) directed at him, still the player who can inspire entire groups of fans to buy tickets and cluster together in a group, still the guy who can get an entire stadium to chant his name without help of the PA system.
Even when there’s a pitcher change, the pitcher’s taking warmup throws, and he could be relaxing for a bit mid-game, Ichiro still stretches. He looks like he’s socializing, but he’s still keeping his mind in the game, and anyone who is familiar with his training regimen knows it. That’s the kind of player he is – it is this sort of thing, this mindset that Ichiro has and maintains, that makes him such a gem.