Made In Japan

Uh oh... it's a picture of a stadium scoreboard.  Yep, it's a baseball post...

Uh oh… it’s a picture of a stadium scoreboard. Yep, it’s a baseball post…

While my schedule makes me a TGIW kind of person anyway, there isn’t a Wednesday I look forward to more each year than the one that ends the nightmare week that leads up to my store’s inventory day.  Welcome to another Picture Day post here at The Nest.  Since I’ll picture daynever top last year’s inventory week post, I’ll just talk a little baseball since there’s been a lot of big time news to come out of the sport that we red blooded Americans care much more about than any of those stupid “games” they’re playing down in Brasil Brazil right now…

On Sunday, future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki recorded the 3,000 hit of his Major League career… which is a pretty mean feat given that he played his first six seasons in Japan, and we don’t count their stats here probably due to some old WWII grudge or something.  Anyway, despite Ichiro spending the majority of his career in the American League, I’ve managed to be in attendance to see him play seven times, largely due to the unusual number of times his longtime team the Seattle Mariners crossed my path between 2004 and 2011…

The only player vain enough to wear his first name on the back of his jersey.

The only player vain enough to wear his first name on the back of his jersey.

And Ichiro was very Ichiro-like in those seven games… getting at least one hit in each contest and compiling a nice .429 average (12/28) while I was watching him.  Yes, he’d still be stuck on 2,988 hits if it weren’t for me… not that he will acknowledge that or fairly compensate me for helping him.

Unfortunately, the only Ichiro games I had a camera at were the pair I saw the Mariners play in Minneapolis in September 2011, and most of the pictures from that album he appears in redefine my famous phrase “shitty photography”.  Like this one I took after he ripped the very first pitch I ever saw in Minnesota for a triple…

Ichiro's that running, blurry blob on the left there in between the fat umpire and even fatter first baseman.

Ichiro’s that running, blurry blob on the left there in between the fat umpire and even fatter first baseman.

I was at the game in Kansas City in 2008 when Ichiro reached 200 hits in a season for the 8th consecutive time… tying the record set by one of the greatest names in baseball history, Wee Willie Keeler.  He would extend that record to 10 consecutive seasons before finally falling 16 hits short of 200 in 2011.  Nobody has quite racked up hits in the quantity Ichiro did during his first decade in baseball, thus why he was able to reach the hallowed 3,000 hit milestone despite such a late start to his US career.

At 42 years of age, Ichiro is also one of the very few players left in the game who is older than I am.  And the great news is that he apparently has no plans to retire anytime soon… so here’s hoping he plays into his 50’s, not only to continue his path up the all-time hit chart, but to keep the game from completely passing my age group by!

There's no shame in needing to gasp for air...

There’s no shame in needing to gasp for air, Ichiro… just keep running out on that field!

I’ll be back next Wednesday with something for more than just the seamheads out there…

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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18 Responses to Made In Japan

  1. Oh I wish he will carry on… as a symbol of encouragement for all ole bats like me :o)

  2. Yeah! Baseball! We are not a fan of the Olympics here … but these days, being a Red Sox fan is a lose-lose too. It’s only August and already, we are afraid to actually watch the game. After the Sox’s ugly win last night, Garry’s comment was “You know the teams going down the tubes where you don’t even feel good when they win.”

    • With all the negative press the Red Sox have gotten this year, I was surprised to see that they aren’t about 50 games under .500 as everyone seems to imply, but are right in the thick of the division race! Maybe Boston fans can at least take comfort in seeing a Yankees fire sale for the first time in two decades?

      • I think that speaks to how mediocre the division is. They really haven’t been playing well … and the pitchers have been particularly atrocious. I don’t say this lightly. I love the Sox, but they do seem to have two modes — GREAT or AWFUL with little in between. I was surprised that they are (theoretically) still in the race. I doubt they are going anywhere post-season this year. Not unless they suddenly catch fire. They have some really good players, but between injuries and erratic performances, it’s been a nail-biter of a season. I am not expecting it to get better this year, but I have hopes that next year will be something special. This MIGHT be the Cubs year, though. Just maybe.

      • The Cubs looked pretty mediocre themselves for about a month and a half until they found it again in August. Most analysts think both wildcards will come out of the AL East with Baltimore, Toronto and Boston all making the playoffs. And it should be known that the only two World Series titles the Cardinals have this century were won by the two worst regular season playoff teams they had. Once you get in, anything can happen…

  3. Trisha says:

    I had no idea Ichiro was in his 40’s! I first learned of his fame at Daniel’s Little League games when he was 8 or 9. All the kids would chant “Ichi-ro! Ichi-ro!” when their teammates were up to bat. My Dad tries to keep me up on the Mariners but…well, let’s just say that political correctness hasn’t made an impression on him and I’m not always sure who he’s talking about since he doesn’t call all players by their actual names.

    • He’s an old man because he didn’t even come to the States until he was 27! He’s actually closer to 43 since his birthday’s in October! I think all fans have “special” names for their team’s players…. me and my Dad have had more than a few unsavory ones over the years for Cardinals players!

  4. ody & biskit……de food servizz gurl noez all bout inventoree { knot sew much base ball } but cod noes her wood rather hit her self in de head with a bat……then due inventoree ~~~~~~~~ ☺☺☺♥♥♥

    • What’s sad is we do more work to prepare everything to be counted by some outside group than we’d probably do if we just counted everything ourselves. I think next year they should just assume we haven’t lost anything and save a lot of time and headache…

  5. A remarkable feat…..long may he play!

    Pam

  6. fanrosa says:

    “And the great news is that he apparently has no plans to retire anytime soon… so here’s hoping he plays into his 50’s, not only to continue his path up the all-time hit chart, but to keep the game from completely passing my age group by!”

    Come back, Jamie Moyer! And bring Vinny Testaverde with you, while you’re at it……

    I know some trivia! I heard this on the Rich Eisen show, I think…. Ichiro is the second player to get his 3000th hit with a triple. I’m sure you heard it too, but just in case…..

    • I already knew that bit of trivia because of the big deal they made over Molitor’s 3000th hit being a triple back when he got it. Then a couple years later, Boggs became the first player to homer for his 3000th hit (I think Jeter matched that, but I’ve kinda lost track this decade)…

      And speaking of Moyer, I was just thinking that come 2020, we might have the first new decade since who know when that will not have an active player who can claim to have played in four calendar decades. I think you can count the number of players left from the 90’s on one hand, and there’s still four years to go…

  7. draliman says:

    I don’t know what any of this means! But great post anyway 🙂

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