Ichiro's newest feat? He's catching bullpens!

August 1st, 2021

Ichiro Suzuki has long been a man of many talents.

The accomplished hitter, part-time pitcher, master of the mustachioed disguise and current special assistant to the chairman can add a new skill to the back of his baseball card in the form of bullpen catcher.

Yes, you read that right.

Ichiro, the former 19-year veteran who compiled 3,089 hits across his storied career, served as the catcher for Mariners rehabbing southpaw Justus Sheffield on Saturday.

Donning some sleek blue catching gear, Ichiro caught Sheffield’s bullpen session as the 25-year-old works his way back from a left forearm strain.

“I had heard last homestand that he was into catching bullpens, and he had gear and everything else,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I'm certain it is authentic Ichiro gear that he had made from some company that only fits him and his style of catching. Anything else would be disappointing.”

This wouldn’t be the first time that Ichiro has lent a helping hand to the Mariners' organization. He’s also served as a batting practice pitcher, a role Ichiro takes very seriously, so much so he had a mound built into his yard at his home in Japan.

Naturally, of course, the next step in his evolution as a player would be calling a game as a catcher.

Unfortunately, we can only imagine what it’s like to have Ichiro playing the role of backstop. Not even Servais has seen the wonder that is Ichiro behind the dish.

“I have not seen it with my own eyes,” Servais added. “I look forward to seeing that. I’ll take a look at that when we get off this road trip.”