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Super Ichiro Crazy!
A Guide to All Things Ichiro
Ichiro Suzuki is my all-time favorite baseball player. Here is my tribute.
(And, for the 2011 season, here is my accompanying blog, also titled Super Ichiro Crazy!)
Going into 2011, Ichiro has played ten full seasons for my favorite team, the Seattle Mariners. During each of those seasons, he's had at least 200 hits (tying Pete Roses's record of ten career 200-hit seasons), played in ten consecutive All-Star Games (starting in nine), batted at least .300, and won ten consecutive Gold Glove awards... He's also led the American League with hits seven times and won two American League batting crowns (.350 in 2001, .372 in 2004), and he's compiled at least 100 runs and 30 stolen bases in eight seasons. Most significantly, in 2004 he had 262 hits, breaking George Sisler's 84-year-old record for most hits in a season with 257. All of this coming after seven full seasons in Japan, in which he won seven consecutive Pacific League batting titles and seven consecutive Gold Glove awards, establishing himself as one of Japan's greatest players of all time. Now, with every record-breaking season he plays here in Seattle, Ichiro is doing the same thing in the U.S...
Position: Right field Born: October 22, 1973; Kasugai, Japan
Home: Kasugai, Japan
Nicknames: Elvis, Wizard, Ich, Ichi, Itchy Balls
With grandmother Hisa.
With dad, horse.
Ready for action.
Pitching in high school.
Ichiro Suzuki was born on October 22, 1973 in Kasugai, Nishikasugai District, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. He grew up in Toyoyama Cho, just north of Nagoya, near the Nagoya airport. He began playing baseball at age seven for his elementary school team, and soon asked his father, Nobuyuki Suzuki, to help him to one day become a professional. The two began intensive hitting, throwing, and fielding drills every day, playing in a field adjacent to the airport's main entrance. As a teenager, Ichiro was chosen to play in the prestigious baseball program at Nagoya's Aiko-Dai Meiden High School. ("After I went to high school, all I did was baseball and sleeping.") Though he was primarily used as a pitcher (with a 93 mph fastball), his career high school batting average was .505.
Following his final season at Meiden, Ichiro was drafted by the Orix Blue Wave of Japan's Pacific League in November 1991. The six-team Pacific League and the six-team Central League together form Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan's top organization. (The NPB's twelve teams each represent a sponsor, not their home city. Orix is a Japanese financial services group; the defunct Blue Wave played in Kobe.) Despite Ichiro's impressive numbers, he wasn't drafted until the fourth round, as many teams thought the five-nine, 124-pound 18-year-old was too small compete professionally.
Though Ichiro left Nagoya to play in Kobe, his father continues to maintain a Nagoya museum dedicated to his son, the Ichiro Exhibition Room.
1992: Orix Blue Wave
After his high school graduation in March 1992, Ichiro spent most of his first professional season playing for the Blue Wave's minor-league team. Skeptical Blue Wave manager Shozo Doi mostly kept Ichiro down because he didn't approve of his unorthodox, pendulum-like leg motion, swinging his leading right leg back and then forward upon every swing of the bat. Still, Ichiro hit .366 in 58 minor-league games, and in 40 games in the majors, the 18-year-old hit .253.
1993: Orix Blue Wave
Ichiro again spent most of the season in the minors, hitting .371 with 8 homers in 48 games. He had 64 at-bats in the majors that year, hitting .188 with one home run. That homer, his first in the majors, came off Hideo Nomo of the Kintetsu Buffaloes, who two years later would join the Los Angeles Dodgers and become the National League Rookie of the Year.
1994: Orix Blue Wave
Akira Ogi, who took over as the Blue Wave manager, made Ichiro his everyday right fielder, and soon, his permanent leadoff hitter, and Ichiro became a superstar. In that breakout season, Ichiro's .385 average set a Pacific League record, and his 210 hits set an NPB record. (No previous Japanese player ever had 200 hits in a season, which lasts a relatively short 130 games.) He also led the league with a .445 on-base percentage, and reached base safely in 69 consecutive games. Along with 13 home runs, 54 runs batted in, and 29 stolen bases, Ichiro easily won the Pacific League MVP award, as well as a Gold Glove award and the Matsutaro Shoriki award, annually given to a player who greatly contributes to the development of Japanese professional baseball.
1995: Orix Blue Wave
Ichiro again led the league with a .342 batting average, and had career highs of 25 home runs and 49 steals. With his 80 runs batted in, he won his second consecutive MVP, Gold Glove, and Matsutaro Shoriki awards, and led the Blue Wave to its first Pacific League pennant in twelve years.
1996: Orix Blue Wave
Ichiro led the Pacific League for the third straight season with a .356 average, won his third straight MVP award, and he led the Blue Wave to the Japan Series title, beating the Central League champion Yomiuri Giants. Following the season, and after playing in an exhibition series against visiting American Major League all-stars, Ichiro decided that he too wanted to one day play in America.
1997: Orix Blue Wave
Besides playing in his fourth consecutive all-star game, Ichiro's .345 average led the Pacific League for fourth straight season, he won his fourth consecutive Gold Glove award, and he set an NPB record of 216 consecutive plate appearances without a strikeout.
1998: Orix Blue Wave
The model of consistency, Ichiro won his fifth straight Gold Glove and batting crown (hitting .358), and played in his fifth all-star game. He also notched more walks than strikeouts for his fourth season straight.
1999: Orix Blue Wave
Before the NPB season began, Ichiro traveled to Arizona to work out with the Seattle Mariners (and his favorite player, Ken Griffey Jr.) at Seattle's spring training camp... After returning to Japan, Ichiro won his sixth batting title (hitting .356) and sixth Gold Glove, and his .412 on-base percentage led the Pacific League for the fourth time. He also tallied his 1,000th career hit and 100th career home run, but his season was cut short in late August after getting hit by pitch, breaking a bone in his right hand.
2000: Orix Blue Wave
In his seventh and final full major league season in Japan, Ichiro's .387 batting average was not only his career best, but also set the Japanese record with seven straight Pacific League batting titles. He won his seventh consecutive Gold Glove award, played in his seventh straight all-star game, was named to his seventh straight "Best Nine" end-of-season All-Star team, and his .460 on-base percentage led the league for the fifth time. Though his season was again cut short (this time with a rib-cage injury), Ichiro played in the Blue Wave's final game of the season, and ultimately his final game in Japan. Altogether, in his nine NPB seasons, Ichiro amassed 1,278 hits and a .353 batting average, and became the most-recognized person in the nation.
After the season, Orix felt they could soon no longer afford to keep their superstar, and allowed him to negotiate with Major League teams. Through the posting system, the Seattle Mariners won the right to negotiate with him, and on November 18, 2000, the M's signed him to a three-year, $14 million contract, making Ichiro the first-ever Japanese position player to sign with a Major League club.
2001: Seattle Mariners
Ichiro's American debut with the 2001 Seattle Mariners was not only one of the greatest seasons any player has ever recorded, but it was also one of the most-watched, as the Japanese media sensation quickly gained superstardom in the U.S. The leadoff hitter's .350 batting average led the majors, as did his 242 hits (a rookie record, and the most by any player in 71 years), as well as his 56 stolen bases. He also dazzled with his defensive prowess in right field; in his first week in Seattle, his putout of Oakland's Terrence Long at third base gained legendary status as "The Throw." Ichiromania was in full swing by the All-Star break, as he was the first rookie ever to lead all players in All-Star balloting, with 3,373,035 votes. (Coincidentally, the game was held in Seattle.) Ichiro was a major contributor to Seattle's 116-win season, tying 1906 Chicago Cubs for the regular-season win record, though the M's fell short of the World Series, losing to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Ultimately, Ichiro stifled those critics who claimed he would be too small and frail to make it in the American majors. Instead, he won both the American League's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards, the only player besides Fred Lynn to do so.
2002: Seattle Mariners
After his 2001 onslaught, Ichiro experienced a relative sophomore slump, but he still had a .321 batting average and 208 hits. He became the sixth player in MLB history with 200 hits in each of his first two seasons, and those combined 450 hits were the most for any player's first two seasons. He was again among the league leaders in several offensive categories, and he led All-Star balloting for second straight year.
2003: Seattle Mariners
With his .312 batting average and 212 hits, he became the third player with 200 hits in his first three seasons. He was yet again among the league leaders in several offensive categories, and he led All-Star balloting for third straight year.
2004: Seattle Mariners
Ichiro's 262 hits set the all-time Major League single-season hits record, breaking George Sisler's 84-year-old record of 257. Ichiro also set season records for singles (225, breaking Wee Willie Keeler's record of 206 in 1898), road hits (145, breaking Harry Heilmann's record of 134 in 1925), and 50-hit months (three). He became the first player in MLB history to reach 200 hits in each of his four seasons; his 922 hits during that period were more than anyone during any four-year period. And, having amassed 2,000 career hits between NPB and MLB, he joined the Meikyukai, Japan's exclusive Golden Players Club. Unsurprisingly, he again led the majors with his .372 batting average.
2005: Seattle Mariners
Ichiro experienced his "worst" season to date, batting .303 with 206 hits. Still, he became just the sixth player to collect 200 hits in five consecutive seasons, but was the first to do it in his first five seasons. He also hit 15 home runs, his MLB career-best.
2006: Team Japan
Ichiro led Japan to a gold medal in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, an international baseball tournament played over 17 days in March 2006. Japan had a 5-3 record in eight tournament games, including a 10-6 win over Cuba in the final contest in San Diego. Ichiro hit in every game, going 12-for-33 for a .364 average, with seven runs, four stolen bases, and one home run.
2006: Seattle Mariners
Back in Seattle, Ichiro led the majors with 224 hits, extending his 200-hit season streak to six, joining Wade Boggs and Wee Willie Keeler as the only players ever to do so. He batted .322 and stole 49 bases, including 39 in a row.
2007: Seattle Mariners
Ichiro racked up a league-leading 238 hits, becoming only one of eight players to collect 200 hits in seven career seasons, and the only player besides Wee Willie Keeler to do it in consecutive years (Keeler had eight). While compiling his .351 average, he set the Mariner record with a 25-game hitting streak, and set the American League records with 45 steals without getting caught. On July 10 he won the All-Star Game's MVP award, going 3-for-3 with an inside-the-park home run. Three days later, he signed a five-year, $90 million contract extension, keeping him in Seattle through 2012.
2008: Seattle Mariners
Ichiro's 213 hits extended his streak of consecutive 200-hit seasons to eight, tying Wee Willie Keeler's record. On July 29, he collected his 3,000th professional hit (combining his 1,278 career hits in Japan with 1,722 such hits in the U.S.). The 34-year-old reached the milestone at a younger age than the previous record-holder, Ty Cobb. In July, he visited the grave of George Sisler, outside St. Louis.
2009: Team Japan
In March, Ichiro and Team Japan won their second gold medal in the second-ever World Baseball Classic. Over nine games, Ichiro batted .280 (12-for-44), with seven runs and five runs batted in, including a tenth-inning, two-out, two-run single, leading Japan to a 5-3 victory over Korea in the championship game at Dodger Stadium.
2009: Seattle Mariners
Due to the stress of defending Japan's WBC title, Ichiro missed the first eight Mariner games of 2009 with a bleeding ulcer, making his first-ever trip to the disabled list. (In his first eight seasons, he had never missed even two consecutive games.) Returning to the lineup on April 15, Ichiro's grand slam tied him with Isao Harimoto as the all-time Japanese-born hits leader, and he broke the record the following night with his 3,086th professional hit (1,278 in Japan, 1,808 in the U.S.). From May 6 to June 5, his 27-game hitting streak set both personal and team records. On September 6, Ichiro became the second-fastest player in history to collect 2,000 MLB hits. On September 13, he surpassed Wee Willie Keeler to become the only Major League player with at least 200 hits in nine consecutive seasons. (Keeler's streak ended in 1901, exactly a century before Ichiro's streak began.) Ichiro also joined Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only players to have nine career 200-hit seasons overall, though Rose took 15 seasons to reach the milestone, while Cobb needed 20. Ichiro also has more hits over a nine-year period than anyone in MLB history. He missed another eight games near season's end (sitting out 16 overall in 2009), but he still led the majors with 225 hits. He batted .352, but it was the first season he failed to score at least 100 runs or steal at least 30 bases. He had his first career walk-off home run, but he also received his first ejection for arguing balls and strikes.
2010: Seattle Mariners
Ichiro led the majors with 214 hits, extending his record streak of consecutive 200-hit seasons to ten, and tying Pete Rose for the most career 200-hit seasons. (It took Rose 17 seasons to reach the mark (he was 37 at the time); the 36-year-old Ichiro did it in ten.) In August, he visited the grave of Wee Willie Keeler in Queens.
Assuming Ichiro remains healthy and continues to get at least 200 hits per season for the next four years -- not too far-fetched -- here's what'll happen:
2011: Ichiro would set the record with 11 career 200-hit seasons. He would also set the Mariner career hits record, currently held by Edgar Martinez with 2,247.
2012: Ichiro would set the record with 12 career 200-hit seasons. It will be the last year of his current contract with the M's, when he'll be 38.
2013: Ichiro would set the record with 13 career 200-hit seasons. With at least 2,844 hits in his MLB career, plus 1,278 hits in his Japanese career, he would have 4,122 career hits. He would also likely play for Team Japan in the third World Baseball Classic.
2014: Ichiro would set the record with 14 career 200-hit seasons. With at least 3,044 hits in his MLB career, plus 1,278 hits in his NPB career, he would have 4,322 career hits, passing Pete Rose's MLB career mark of 4,255 (and Julio Franco's international career record of 4,229). Ichiro will be 40 during the 2014 season. Though Rose's MLB record appears out of reach, he would become roughly the 30th player with 3,000 career MLB hits.
Hall of Fame? Ichiro's ten Major League seasons through 2010 have met the minimum required for Hall of Fame eligibility. Five years after his retirement, he will need to be approved for the Hall by a screening committee made up of members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Ichiro's numbers alone should make him a shoo-in as the first Asian HoFer, but his role as the MLB's first Asian position player, opening the door for more such players, and thereby giving the American game a more international appeal, should guarantee his induction.
1938 Seattle Rainiers road uniform.
1939 Rainiers home uniform.
1969 Seattle Pilots home uniform.
1977 Seattle Pilots home uniform.
1978 Mariners road uniform.
1980s Mariners road uniform.
1989 Mariners home uniform.
1990s M's alternate uniform.
Above are some uniforms Ichiro has worn for various Mariner turn-back-the-clock games; most of the other uniform combos he's worn throughout his professional career appear elsewhere on this page.
So why only his first name on his uniform? During the 1994 season, when Ichiro was one of four Orix players named Suzuki, Blue Wave manager Akira Ogi had him replace the last name on his jersey to his first name, a publicity stunt to promote the rising star. Ichiro was initially embarrassed by it, but the name caught on in Japan, and later, in the U.S. While "Ichiro" means "first son," he actually has an older brother, fashion designer Kazuyasu Suzuki.
As for his uniform number, Ichiro wore 51 for Orix, and he was also issued the number when he joined the Mariners. At first he was reluctant to wear 51, since it was previously worn by former Mariner pitching sensation Randy Johnson, but he agreed to it anyhow: "I'm very fortunate the Mariners would let me wear 51, and I'll work hard not to damage the reputation of the number."
Like many other major leaguers in the 2000s, Ichiro routinely wore long pants. Then, in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, he began wearing short pants to expose his navy socks, a look that he's sported ever since.
Ichiro wears Mizuno ball gloves (handmade for him by legendary leather craftsman Yoshi Tsubota), Mizuno batting gloves and wrist bands, and he uses Mizuno bats, which he keeps in a humidor. He also wears Asics spikes and Oakley Ichiro Juliet Signature Series sunglasses (more on those here).
"When a person gives a gift to another, it is expected the gift will be treated well. But baseball players throw and kick their baseball gloves that have been given to them by makers of baseball equipment. I feel that is a contradiction... Equipment -- bats, glove, and spikes -- should look cool and get kids who play baseball want to wear them."
Topps Heritage #3, 2003.
Topps #FF16, 2007.
Topps Heritage #30, 2007.
Topps #TCH24, 2008.
Action figure, 1999.
Starbucks card, 2005.
Pocket schedule, 2005.
McFarlane Series 1, 2002.
McFarlane Series 4, 2003.
McFarlane Series 22, 2008.
Much more memorabilia may be found at CollectingIchiro.com, IchiroCollectables.com, IchiroCollection on flickr and, of course, eBay.
Ichiro meets Bigfoot.
2005 Bazooka #13.
By Slink Moss.
To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland. If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face.
Japanese magazine, 1990s.
Sports Graphic Number 376.
Japanese magazine, 1990s.
Japanese magazine, 1990s.
Sports Illustrated, May 28, 2001.
ESPN, July 23, 2001.
Beckett Baseball, November '01.
The Grand Salami, July 2008.
Although it is a tradition to shake hands in America, people don't wash their hands when they go to the bathroom.
Baseball Is Just Baseball: The Understated Ichiro by David Shields (TNI, 2001). A photo-less collection of Ichiro's quotes gathered from various sources during his rookie season that takes about 20 minutes to read.
Baseball Samurais: Ichiro Suzuki and the Asian Invasion by Rob Rains (St. Martin's, 2001). A slapped-together, 200-page paperback that also features Hideo Nomo and other Japanese MLBers.
The Meaning of Ichiro: The New Wave from Japan and the Transformation of Our National Pastime by Robert Whiting (Warner, 2004). The author of 1989's You Gotta Have Wa, examining the impact of Americans playing pro ball in Japan, follows it up with this look at Japanese ballplayers in America, with a particularly in-depth focus on Ichiro.
Ichiro on Ichiro: Conversations with Narumi Komatsu (Sasquatch, 2004). Killer book-length interview touching on many aspects of Ichiro's life and career, with a generous number of black-and-white and color photos, including some from his personal collection.
Baseball Superstars: Ichiro Suzuki by Judith Levin (Chelsea House, 2007). Among the heap of Ichiro books aimed at kids, this is easily the best one. For the record, here are the others... Dear Ichiro by Jean Davies Okimoto (Kumagi Press, 2002)... Ichiro Magic! by Jim Allen (Kodansha International, 2001)... Ichiro Suzuki: Best in the West by Mark Stewart (Milbrook Press, 2002)... Ichiro: The Making of an American Hero by Roland Lazenby (Triumph, 2002)... At the Plate With ... Ichiro by Matt Christopher (Little, Brown and Company, 2003)... Ichiro Suzuki (Awesome Athletes Set III) by Terri Dougherty (ABDO, 2003)... Super Sports Star Ichiro Suzuki by Ken Rappaport (Enslow, 2004)... Sports Heroes and Legends: Ichiro Suzuki by David S. Leigh (Barnes & Noble, 2004)... Ichiro's Art of Playing Baseball: Learn How to Hit, Steal, and Field Like an All-Star by Jim Rosenthal (St. Martin's Griffin, 2006)... Amazing Athletes: Ichiro Suzuki by Jeff Savage (Lerner Publications, 2007).
Rock 'n' Roll
"Ichiro!" by Xola (2001). Xola (more often known as Seattle rapper Kid Sensation) got Ichiro to license his name to this song, which was played at Safeco Field and sold locally as a CD single during Ichiro's rookie season. The disc was then released in Japan in 2002, featuring three additional tracks: a new '02 version, the "Club Groove Remix" and the "Mad Flava Remix" (one or both of remixed by Sir Mix-a-Lot). The track surfaced again on the 2009 Kid Sensation CD Back Home.
"Let's Go! Ichiro" by the Ventures (2001). After opening with a promising surf-rock riff, this song is mostly just a mix of guitars, horns, and the song title sung ad nauseum over a dumb dance beat. From the EP Songs for the Baseball Players.
"Ichiro" by Terry Cashman (2002). Terry "Talkin' Baseball" Cashman's tribute is a generic, mid-tempo rocker, though he rolls the R when he sings "Ichiro" for authenticity. From the EP Talkin' Baseball: Seattle Mariners.
"Go Go Ichiro" by Supersnazz (2004). A two-minute garage-rock blast by the all-girl Japanese band, shouting the title over and over like crazed fans who are genuinely stoked about their subject. From the compilation CD Seattle ..A Baseball Town, in which Ichiro gets additional shout-outs in "Baseball Hero" (also by Supersnazz) and "2001" by Presidents of the United States of America frontguy Chris Ballew.
"Ichiro" by Phil Coley (2007). Sounds like Waylon Jennings singing over a Wesley Willis composition, with a bit more lyrical ambition than the above numbers. Coley ticks off Ichiro's various career achievements as a sort of folky ballad with some oddball lines ("He has the drive, precision and smoothness of a Toyota"). From the CD Baseball Songs: Sports Heroes 2.
"Ichiro Suzuki" by the Seattle Sports Band (2009). An amateurish effort from the album Mariners & Seahawks.
"Ichiro on Third" by Projekt A-ko (2009). Scottish lads tackle Ichiro with a sort of Pavement-y sound, with lyrics that are neither here nor there. From the CD Yoyodyne.
"Go Ichiro!" by Carlos De Couto (2010). Mixes a '90s Helmet riff with cheering crowd noises, a fake stadium announcer and the song title sung repeatedly. From the one-song album Go Ichiro!
"Ichiro Goes to the Moon" by the Baseball Project (2011). Thus far, easily the best of all Ichiro songs. "Don't put him on a pedestal/ Just treat him with respect/ He seeks but his own approval/ And earns all that he gets." The verses speculate that he has two stomachs and is constructing his own spaceship, and the chorus goes, "I won't be surprised at all when Ichiro goes, Ichiro goes to the moon." There's also gong noises. From the album Volume 2: High and Inside."Ichiro: The Opera" by Dave Ross (year unknown). Sung to the tune of Figaro by a wacky Seattle DJ -- listen.
"Go, Go, Go, Go Ichiro" by Ben Gibbard (unreleased). The Death Cab for Cutie singer performed this live in 2010.
Entrance Music. Over his ten seasons at Safeco Field, these are among the tunes that have played as he's stepped up to bat: "In Da Club" by 50 Cent, "In the Ayer," "Jump," and "Sugar" by Flo Rida, "Identity" and "Yokushitsu" by Ringo Shiina, "Take it to da House" by Trick Daddy, "Yeah!" by Usher, and "S&M" by Rihanna.
Ichiro-Mondow: Two Chairs.
On the weekly half-hour show Ichiro-Mondow: Two Chairs ("Ichiro Versus"), he interviewed various well-known figures on a largely barren set (save for the titular chairs). During the show, which aired on Saturday nights beginning in 2006, the host also played word-association games with his diverse guests: athletes, actors, models, scientists, lawyers, and Peter, a popular Japanese drag queen... The DVDs Rising Sons (2002) and Rising Sons Return (2003) document Ichiro's first two seasons with the Mariners, along with some fellow Japanese players... He was featured in a nine-minute chapter of Ken Burns's Baseball: The Tenth Inning in 2010... Ichiro played himself on the January 4, 2006 episode of Furuhata Ninzaburo, a Fuju TV police detective drama series, in which he kills a guy who blackmailed his brother... When asked, "Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?", Ichiro said Brad Pitt.
Asahi Soft Drinks.
NTT mobile phones.
Kirin beer, though he reportedly doesn't drink -- video.
Besides the above brands and the aforementioned Mizuno, Asics and Oakley, Ichiro also pitches for Yunker energy drink, Nikko Cordial Securities, Nissan, and Nippon Oil.
If you were to meet a beautiful girl and go bowling, if she's an ugly bowler, you are going to be disappointed.
Yumiko & Ikkyu
Ichiro is married to former Japanese TV sports reporter Yumiko Fukushima. They wed on December 3, 1999, in a private ceremony at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, avoiding a certain media crush in Japan. During the season, they live in their Medina home, in an affluent Seattle suburb on Lake Washington. In the off-season, they live in Kobe. Though they have no children, they do have a Shiba Inu named Ikkyu. When Ichiro first arrived in Seattle, he refused to divulge Ikkyu's name to the media: "I would not wish to say without first asking his permission." During a 2007 press conference, while explaining his decision to sign a contract extension with the Mariners and stay in Seattle, he claimed he was persuaded by Ikkyu: "He said, 'Woof, woof, woof,' which meant, 'Stay, stay, stay.' Of course, I listened." Yumiko and Ikkyu supposedly high-five each other whenever they see Ichiro get a hit on TV.
Favorites Food: Curry rice, pickled plum, okaka
Pre-game food: Rice ball
Comfort food: "My wife's cookies."
Pizza topping: cheese
Meal to make: Bananas foster
Ice cream: Cookies 'n' cream, vanilla with dark chocolate
Coffee drink: Frappucino with whipped cream
Restaurant: Saito's, El Gaucho, Shiro's
Least favorite food: "Anything that smells bad."
High school class: History
Childhood sports team: Chunichi Dragons
Baseball player: Ken Griffey, Jr.
Road ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Off-season activity: Baseball
Sport other than baseball: Car racing, track & field
Vacation spot: Milan, Los Angeles
Thing about Seattle: "You can see water everywhere you go, which is very unique for an urban area in the States."
Movie: Love Actually, Miss Congeniality
Baseball movie: Mr. 3000
Sports movie: Cool Runnings
Comedy movie: The Full Monty
Actor: Hugh Grant
Actress: Sandra Bullock
TV Channel: BET, Animal Planet
TV Show: Lost, Prison Break
Cartoon: Dragon Ball Z
Music: "I very much like hip-hop and rap -- my older brother's influence."
Music artist: Snoop Dogg, Nelly, Fergie
Song: "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang"
Video game: Dragon Quest, Mario Bros.
Color: Aqua blue
Clothing: "T-shirts, jeans, and suits designed by Yohji Yamamoto."
Hobby: Collecting paintings, shopping for antique furniture, driving his Porsche, coin collecting, playing go, playing golf, growing bonsai trees
Charity: Olive Crest, Make-A-Wish Foundation
American expression: "August in Kansas City is hotter than two rats in a fucking wool sock" -- video.
Ichiro fancies himself a sharp dresser, whether in garish hiphop gear, Italian suits, or the threads he wore in the May 2007 GQ (above). He also has his own Ichiro Levi's in Japan.
The fashion sense Americans have is a crime.
Perhaps, but I'd call this a felony.
With the Mariner Moose.
Ichiro fights Darth Maul.
Sports Propaganda poster.
Rob Dibble's Ichiro ass tattoo.
Celebrating with Griffey, 2009.
Carve an Ichiro jack o' lantern.
Ichiro Official Web Site, and Ichiro Times.
Watch Ichiro on YouTube.
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Last updated on June 26, 2011.
© 2004-2011 Steve Mandich