Ichiro Suzuki to NY Yankees: 5 Highlights of His Tenure with Seattle Mariners

Matt LindholmContributor IIAugust 4, 2012

Ichiro Suzuki to NY Yankees: 5 Highlights of His Tenure with Seattle Mariners

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    For over a decade, Ichiro Suzuki has been the face of the Seattle Mariners' franchise. When he made his debut in a Mariner's uniform over 11 years ago, not only did Seattle fall in love with him, MLB did.

    Over this stretch of baseball history, the MLB would come to know Ichiro as a slap-hitting, extra-base robbing superstar. He was the Emerald City's most exciting player since Ken Griffey Jr.

    Since his departure to New York this season, the image of the superstar outfielder in a Mariners uniform is now but a distant memory.

    This article relives the high times in Ichiro's Mariners career.

Debut

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    Ichiro's rookie year was one of the most highly decorated in MLB history and certainly one of the most memorable in the last 25 years of baseball.

    Not only did Ichiro win Rookie of the Year, he won the AL MVP, an All-Star starting spot, a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger award and the AL batting title. He also led the league in total hits and stolen bases.

    He had quite a rookie season.

Durability

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    Ichiro played 1,749 games in 11 full seasons with Seattle, averaging 159 games a year. The star outfielder also has led MLB in at-bats eight times during this period. 

    Unlike most MLB players, Ichiro has spent little time on the DL. During his tenure in Seattle, Ichiro experienced a one-time trip to the DL for 15 days. It was for a stomach ulcer.

    No bilateral leg weakness or strained eyelid put this guy on the DL.

Consistency

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    Perhaps, one of the most consistent players in the modern MLB era, Ichiro Suzuki's stats lines display unmatched reliability. 

    In his first 11 seasons with Seattle, Ichiro had 200 or more hits in 10 of them—not to mention hitting three .300 seasons for those 10.  

    Ichiro also stole over 30 bases in 10 seasons with the Mariners, averaging 38 stolen bases a year. The star also scored at least 100 runs in each of his first eight seasons with Seattle.

    That's pretty remarkable.  

Accolades

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    Ichiro definitely wracked up countless awards during his time with the Mariners. Here are some of them:

    • 10-time Gold Gloves
    • 10-time All-Star selections
    • seven-time hits leader
    • three-time Silver Slugger
    • three-time leader for intentional walks
    • two-time batting titles
    • one-time MVP
    • one-time All-Star Game MVP
    • one-time stealing champion
    • Single-season hits record

    A lot fit into just 11 full seasons.

Legacy

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    Though he has left Seattle, Ichiro will forever have a legacy there.

    Whether this tenure will be tarnished by his late career departure to New York is yet to be determined. However, history has told us that his legacy in Seattle will most likely not be scarred his exit from Seattle. 

    See Harmon Killebrew (played his final season for the Royals, not the Twins) or Hank Aaron (played his last two seasons in Milwaukee as a Brewer, not a Brave).

    Ichiro will always be associated with the Mariners. His move to New York will not taint his brilliant career in Seattle.