That batting-stance, upon first glance, enthralled me.
I had never seen anything like it, nor have I ever seen a player as consistently good as Ichiro.
After leaving his native-Japan in 2001 to become an MLB(er), nothing but greatness ensued.
He became the first Japanese-born full-time position player in the Bigs, and not too long later, he was setting other records too.
In his first full season, he led the league in both batting average and stolen bases, becoming the first player since Jackie Robinson to do so.
At season's end, he won not only Rookie of the Year Honors, but as well AL MVP, joining Fred Lynn as the only other player to achieve both feats in the same season.
Additionally he set a rookie record for most hits with 242, and became the first rookie to lead the All-Star Team in balloting.
Three years later, Ichiro produced his best season to date, and perhaps one of the finest seasons of all-time.
He racked up 262 hits, (an MLB record) to go along with a not-too-shabby .372 batting average en route to his fourth All-Star selection.
Over his career, (nine) seasons, Ichiro has won a Gold Glove nine times, has been selected an All-Star nine times, and has hit 200+ hits in each season.
Too many records to name are in posession of Ichiro, but here are some notable ones:
Within the Mariners Franchise, Ichiro holds the all-time record for steals (292), and holds the highest hit-streak at 27 games.
In the MLB, Ichiro collected the most hits out of any Major Leaguer in their first two seasons (450), most hits in a six-year span, and most hits in an eight-year span.
He also became the first player to hit an inside-the-park home run in an all-star game, has led the league in hits five times, and became the youngest player to amass over 3,000 career hits, (of course including all his years in Japan).
If these stats don't speak for themselves, then I don't know what does.
Ichiro is without a doubt the best active-player in the MLB.