Marlins give Ichiro home plate from record-setting run
Outfielder sets mark for Japanese players, passes Oh with 1,968th run scored
MIAMI -- Ichiro Suzuki made history Saturday by setting the record for the most runs scored by a Japanese player. On Sunday, the Marlins gave the veteran outfielder something to remember the occasion: home plate.
The plate that Ichiro crossed to set the benchmark was dug up and presented to the veteran outfielder.
In January, the Marlins signed Ichiro as a free agent to be their fourth outfielder. The 10-time All-Star has seen steady playing time, starting in left field recently because Christian Yelich (lower-back strain) is on the disabled list.
"Aside from his unsurpassed skills, he's brought a new level of professionalism," Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said. "He's an amazing player."
Home plate was dug up by the Marlins Park grounds crew after the Marlins beat the Nationals, 8-0. The team presented the plate to Ichiro before Sunday's game.
In the eighth inning Saturday, Ichiro, 41, scored the 1,968th run of his brilliant career. That surpassed Sadaharu Oh (1,967) for the most by a Japanese player.
Ichiro, who broke into the Major Leagues with the Mariners in 2001, has 1,310 runs in his MLB career, plus another 658 runs in Japan.
On Saturday, Ichiro scored on Adeiny Hechavarria's three-run homer in the eighth inning. When he took the field for the top of the ninth inning, there was a video tribute to the record, and Ichiro was applauded by the fans and players. He tipped his cap.