Ichiro Suzuki has a reputation for being an iconic rock star around these regions, so it started off like an outdoor performance for him.
On a summer Saturday night, there was a sold-out crowd, and when the center of attention was eventually unveiled, the introduction had all the right analogies.
Seattle, what's up? Ichiro yelled, then he let the excited crowd roar back and enjoy the moment.
The franchise legend of Seattle was starting a 16-minute speech that he delivered in English in
honor of being inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame.
“Even though I retired as an active player, baseball and Seattle have never left my heart,” Ichiro said.
“Baseball will forever be my soul, and my mission is to keep helping both players and fans appreciate thi
s special game.”
Ichiro is the first core member since 2015, joining an exclusive group that includes the following nine individuals (in order of induction):
Alvin Davis, Dave Niehaus, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Dan Wilson, Ken Griffey Jr., Lou Piniella and Jamie Moyer, with all in attendance except Johnson and Piniella.
One by one, Ichiro shared a message with each, blending in his trademark quick-wit humor with heartfelt respect. He also addressed Piniella.
He also expressed his gratitude to the Mariners' ownership for giving him the chance to serve as a special advisor after his playing career.
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