by Lori Barber

Ichiro is back! Here is the time I wore my Ichiro Jersey to Tokyo

I feel like a teenager full of Jolt Cola!

March 8, 2018

Holy crap cat, Ichiro is back! This time not as a shared bobblehead with him playing right field in the wrong jersey...

by Sean Girvan ('sup dummy)

The media covered this with hot takes about what this means for the Mariners and questions about Ichiro's abilities, but I'm much more interested in the relationships we have with the star outfielder. May 4th, 2009: My first day on the radio in Seattle, before I even cracked a microphone as a resident of this weird and wonderful city, I had already been to a Mariners game. It was that year that Jr. came back and there were posters and billboards everywhere!

After driving two days from the 90+ degree desert of Las Vegas, Nevada, we came over the still snow-covered pass. I quickly understood why the Mariners struggle to hit in the spring - it's still cold! Well, not all the Mariners struggle. Not Ichiro  Suzuki! That guy poked baseballs into shallow centerfield like he was in the shallow end of a swimming pool smacking his friend with a pool noodle. 

I had tickets to the last game that Ichiro played as a Mariner, the next morning the news broke that Suzuki was headed to the opposite locker room to put on the grey and black road uniform of the New York Yankees (barf). When my friend Mike came to me with tickets we went to the game. I'll never forget being choked up by the first at-bat, not by the approach of the man, but the response by the fans:

What a weird memory that still rattles around. 

A couple years ago, I was headed to see a giant mech robot at a shopping mall in Tokyo and for whatever reason, I wore my navy blue Ichiro jersey. A Japanese man out for a jog ran past me throwing me an odd look - about four-Mississippi later I hear from behind "ICH-I-RO!". Turning to see the jogger, he had the most cautious smile on his face. I couldn't help but erupt in huge smiles and together we had a super special moment - language and cultural barriers broken down because of a guy who's good at swinging a stick at stuff.

by Lori Barber

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