Ichiro Suzuki's most memorable career moments were almost always defined by his consistency, longevity, and superior athleticism. In a major league career that spanned from 2001 until his official retirement March 21, 2019, he set multiple hits records and won the heart of baseball fans the world over while becoming one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
With Ichiro no longer a part of the everyday baseball landscape, it's time to reflect on his impact and pick out the best moments from a career that was full of memorable ones. Vote for the moments you'll remember Ichiro by.
Breaks George Sisler's Single-Season Hits Record
Date: October 1, 2004
The moment: When Ichiro Suzuki came to the major leagues, it was clear from the start he was a hitting machine. He had 242 hits in his "rookie" season in 2001, when he won AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP, and had more than 200 in each of the first 10 years of his MLB career, a record that likely will never be broken. His crowning achievement came in 2004, when he broke George Sisler's long-standing major league record for hits in a season.120Was this Ichiro Suzuki moment memorable?
Triples For 3,000th Hit In MLB
Date: August 7, 2016
The moment: There are a few benchmarks that remain sacred in baseball — 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts for a pitcher or 500 home runs and 3,000 hits for a batter. Ichiro Suzuki was on the tail end of his career when he finally reached 3,000 hits in Major League Baseball, a number he assuredly would have attained much sooner if he had not spent nine years in Japan first. He also became only the second player in history to triple for his 3,000th hit.134Was this Ichiro Suzuki moment memorable?
Final Career Game In Japan
Date: March 21, 2019
The moment: Ichirio Suzuki seemingly retired in the middle of the 2018 season, when he agreed to take a front-office position with the Seattle Mariners rather than continue to take the field. But it appears he was just biding his time, waiting for the previously announced Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland A's series in his native Japan that was scheduled to kick off the 2019 MLB season. Suzuki played both games of the series and came out in the eighth inning of the second game to a massive standing ovation from the Japanese fans. There were laughs, tears and hugs he left a professional baseball field for the final time as a player.138Was this Ichiro Suzuki moment memorable?
Passes Pete Rose On Professional Hits List
Date: June 15, 2016
Moment: From the start of Ichiro Suzuki's MLB career, there was debate over how to account for the 1,278 hits he amassed playing nine professional seasons in Japan before coming to the U.S. That debate took on greater significance when he passed all-time MLB hits leader Pete Rose with his 4,257th professional hit. Rose will say he's still the true hit king, but try telling that to Suzuki's many fans.128Was this Ichiro Suzuki moment memorable?