Ichiro a 'unanimous' pick for Mariners HOF

Induction celebration scheduled for Aug. 26-28 weekend at T-Mobile Park

November 17th, 2021

SEATTLE -- The post-career accolades had to begin at some point, right? Even though still dresses in full uniform for every Mariners home game as an instructor on the coaching staff, still looking the part of a big leaguer in so many ways, the franchise icon is beginning to receive the accolades that follow in the years of retirement.

On Wednesday, the Mariners announced that Ichiro will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame next year. A commemorative ceremony will be held on Saturday, Aug. 27, ahead of a home game against the Cleveland Guardians, as part of a weekend-long celebration of his storied career.

When he’s enshrined, Ichiro will join Mariners Hall of Fame members (in order of induction): Alvin Davis, Dave Niehaus, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Dan Wilson, Ken Griffey Jr., Lou Piniella and Jamie Moyer.

It’s likely the first such enshrinement for the 48-year-old, who will become eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2025. Many believe he will be a first-ballot selection after his 19-year career that included numerous historical statistic accolades.

Speaking of, his list of those accomplishments is rich:

• 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards
• 10 consecutive All-Star Game appearances, including MVP of the 2007 game in San Francisco, where he went 3-for-3 with the first inside-the-park home run in Midsummer Classic history
• From 2001-10, he recorded at least 200 hits each season, an MLB record
• In 2004, he recorded 262 hits, surpassing the MLB single-season record of 257, set in 1920 by George Sisler
• Three Silver Slugger Awards (2001, '07, '09) and two American League batting titles (2001, '04)
• American League stolen base leader (2001)
• Recorded his 3,000th Major League hit on Aug. 7, 2016, (a triple), becoming one of 31 players to reach that milestone

He also remains the Mariners’ all-time leader in several categories:

• First in hits (2,542), batting average (.321), at-bats (7,907), triples (79), and stolen bases (438)
• Second in games (1,861) and runs (1,181)
• Third in doubles (295) and total bases (3,292)

“Mariners fans were fortunate to have watched Ichiro Suzuki perform his magic at the plate and in the field for over a decade in a Mariners uniform,” Mariners chairman and managing general partner John Stanton said in a statement. “As the first position player to transition from Japan to Major League Baseball, Ichiro opened minds and won hearts of American fans with his brilliant play and dedication to his craft. His selection to the Mariners Hall of Fame was unanimous, and I fully expect Ichiro to take his place in Cooperstown on the first ballot in 2025.”

In addition to serving as a special instructor for the big league team, Ichiro also fills that role at Triple-A Tacoma, particularly when the Mariners are on the road. He also is a special assistant to Stanton.

Ichiro retired on March 21, 2019, at age 45, after playing two regular-season games to open that season in his homeland of Japan, at the Tokyo Dome, which remains one of the most memorable moments in franchise history.

The Mariners Hall of Fame was created to honor the players, staff and other individuals who greatly contributed to the history of the Mariners franchise. To be eligible for selection, a player must have been active in a Mariners uniform for at least five seasons and be retired as a player at least two years, which aligns with Ichiro’s retirement and his selection on Wednesday.

In addition to a player’s impact on the field, other considerations for possible induction include his positive impact on the Northwest community outside of baseball and a player’s positive impact in enhancing the image of the Seattle Mariners and/or MLB.