Ichiro Suzuki

Baseball Player

Born: 22 October 1973
Birthplace: Kasugai, Japan
Best known as: The Japanese baseball superstar for the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees
Ichiro Suzuki is the Japanese baseball superstar who has played in the American major leagues since 2001. Ichiro Suzuki was first a hero in Japan, where he played nine major league seasons for the Orix Blue Wave. In 2001, Suzuki joined the Seattle Mariners of American League. That made Suzuki (along with New York Mets outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo the same year) the first non-pitching Japanese to play in the American major leagues since the 1960s, sparking intense interest in both the U.S. and Japan. A speedy outfielder, Suzuki became one of the best hitters in the game and a threat to steal whenever he was on base. He became a 10-time All-Star, and his fame is such that he is often called by a single name, Ichiro. He extended his contract with Seattle in 2007 for $90 million, and played with the team until 2012, when he was traded to the New York Yankees. After three uneventful seasons with the Yankees, he moved to the Miami Marlins in 2015 as a backup outfielder, and was playing there on August 7, 2016 when he got his 3000th hit in the American major leagues (a triple against the Colorado Rockies). Combined with his 1,278 hits in the Japanese major leagues, Ichiro has surpassed Pete Rose's major league record of 4,256 total hits -- although Rose remains the leader if only American major league hits are counted.
Extra credit:

Ichiro’s name is pronounced EE-chee-roh soo-ZOO-kee, according to MLB.com… Ichiro wore uniform #51 throughout his career until his 2012 trade to the New York Yankees. There the number had been worn by fan favorite Bernie Williams, so Ichiro switched to uniform #31. He switched back to uniform #51 when joining the Miami Marlins in 2015… Ichiro Suzuki married Yumiko Fukushima in 1999; she is a a former announcer for TBS TV.

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