Ichiro flashback – 1999 spring training in Arizona

Ed Odeven Reporting

In recognition of Ichiro Suzuki’s remarkable career, which includes his 4,000th career hit on Wednesday for the New York Yankees, here is a story I wrote for The Rafu Shimpo (Los Angeles’ English-Japanese newspaper) in the spring of 1999. At the time, Ichiro was a guest player for the Seattle Mariners.

As it appeared in The Rafu Shimpo…
Headline: Ichiro yearning for chance to play in major leagues
Secondary headline: The Orix BlueWave star, considered the top all-around player in Japan, could someday be the first non-pitcher to make it in the U.S.

Rafu contributor

PEORIA, Ariz. — The big question isn’t if Ichiro Suzuki has what it takes to be a major league ballplayer. The big question is when the Japanese superstar will get the opportunity to do so.

After Suzuki’s short spring training stay in Arizona, the consensus among those at the Seattle Mariners…

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