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Newly-acquired Seattle mega-star, Ichiro Suzuki, has certainly brought his consistent hitting and maybe a little luck with him to the Bronx. Yesterday, Ichiro extended his hot hitting streak to 12 games when ex-teammate, Saunders lost a routine fly ball to center in the sun. It hasn’t taken long for Yankee fans to embrace his unique style and talent. With unfortunate injuries in the outfield this slap-hitting veteran couldn’t possibly fit any better in the pinstripes. His addition to the already star-stacked lineup makes the Yanks that much more experienced, seasoned, and ready for an eventual playoff run. Ichiro is an icon, like Madonna, known simply by his first name.
Ichiro broke the barrier as the first Japanese position player to ever play in the MLB. He was the first, before other natives lit up the league, most notably: Matsui, Matsuzaka, Kuroda, and Darvish. Ichiro joined the Mariners in 2001 (the same year they traded Arod to the Rangers), after playing professionally in Japan for 8 years. And boy did he come into the country with a BANG. As a rookie, he batted a whopping .350 and snagged: Rookie of the Year, AL MVP, and AL stolen base awards.
His impressive resume speaks for itself, including awards: 10-time All Star, 10-time Gold Glove, 3-time Silver Slugger, 2-time AL batting champion, and All Star Game MVP of ’07. The guy had 10 solid, consecutive seasons where he did NOT have a single season: BA of under .300 or less than 200 hits (longest streak by any player). He holds MLB’s single season hit record with 262.
He is still producing at age 38 and his hitting ability, speed, defense, and strong throwing arm remain undeniable. If you play “Beat the Streak” hopefully you’ve been choosing Ichiro lately, this guy is hot! (::knock on wood:: that this doesn’t jinx it) As I finish this he is currently 0-3 tonight but Ichiro serves as a nice additive ingredient to the Yanks’ melting pot roster of All-Stars.