The Seattle Mariners have announced they will honor Ichiro Suzuki with the Franchise Achievement Award.
After a hot start to the season, the Seattle Mariners have given fans little to cheer about in 2019. With this in mind, it would be wise to circle Saturday, Sept. 14 in your calendars.
That’s because the Mariners will be presenting Ichiro Suzuki with the Franchise Achievement award. The presentation will take place in a pregame ceremony at T-Mobile Park. (The first 20,000 fans will also receive a Ichiro bobblehead.)
Ichiro retired in Tokyo after the Mariners’ second game of the 2019 season in Japan. Sept. 14 will give fans the opportunity to celebrate his remarkable career.
When the 45-year-old first came to the United States, there were doubts about what he could achieve. However, this was soon dispelled by an explosive first year in 2001.
Ichiro had a rookie-record 242 hits, the most by any MLB player since 1930. By the end of the season he was named AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP, as he helped the Ms equal the Major League record for wins, with 116. (Also the most ever in the American League.)
This set the stage for a truly spectacular 18-plus years in the Majors. This included 10 All-Star appearances, 10 Gold Gloves and three Silver Slugger awards.
Ichiro had 10 consecutive years with at least 200 hits, which included setting a major league single season record with 262 hits in 2004. By the end of his MLB career he had 3,089 hits, with 2,533 coming as a member of the Mariners.
The Japan native will become just the third person to be given the Franchise Achievement Award, which was created in 2016. The other two recipients are former Mariners’ chairmen John Ellis and Howard Lincoln.
Current Ms’ chairman John Stanton expressed his gratitude for everything Ichiro achieved during his playing career. As reported by Greg Johns of MLB.com, Stanton said:
“Ichiro was a trailblazer when he arrived in 2001 and ushered in a new era for international players. Over his long playing career, he demonstrated daily the skill, passion and preparation that only the truly great have. We appreciate all that he has done for the Mariners, and for Major League Baseball.”
The Franchise Achievement Award will highlight a weekend-long celebration of Ichiro at T-Mobile Park. There will be a postgame fireworks display on Friday, Sept. 13 and a Ichiro replica jersey T-shirt giveaway for the first 15,000 fans entering the ballpark on Sunday, Sept. 15.
If you had to pick out just one highlight from Ichiro’s time with the Seattle Mariners, what would it be? Further, what do you believe was his most impressive achievement during his playing career in the Majors? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.