SEATTLE — Ichiro and the New York Yankees invade Safeco Field Thursday evening, marking the first time since the former Mariners superstar outfielder was traded to the Yankees in July 2012.
The Yankees and Mariners begin a four-game series Thursday and for Ichiro and Mariners fans it is likely be a low-key return, Seattle Times Sports columnist Larry Stone said. Ichiro’s return to Seattle will be nothing like when A-Rod, then with the Texas Rangers or Ken Griffey, then with the Cincinnati Reds, returned for the first time, Stone wrote.
Stone said the trade was a shock to Mariners fans,but after the weirdness of watching Ichiro play in pinstripes, “the wisdom of the deal began to emerge.”
In many Mariners’ eyes, Ichiro was mostly appreciated for his play, but never quite “beloved” during the 11 seasons he was with the team, Stone wrote. The reason? Ichiro never truly gave anyone, inside or outside of the clubhouse, a window into his personality.
Nevertheless, Mariners fans will never forget Ichiro’s amazing skills and plays. Here are some of his most memorable moments:
- Ichiro’s 2001 “breakout” season, with his “slap-and-run style” of play.
- Ichiro’s inside-the-park homer in the All-Star Game in San Francisco.
- Ichiro’s 258th base hit in 2004, breaking George Sisler’s season record for most base hits.