Ichiro Retirement

The first series to start the 2019 MLB season has come and gone. The atmosphere was electric to say the least!! Everyone was excited for the season to start and the Japanese fan base embraced it perfectly. Listening to their chants and reactions to different plays was something pretty unique in itself… I might just have to start watching more Japanese baseball. They really appreciate the game and the subtle nuances and they let the players know it. After the weird way Ichiro’s season came to an end last year I was hoping there would be a way for him to exit the game with respect and the way he deserves though I’m sure he could go without all of that. When the Mariners announced that Ichiro would be playing in the series in Japan I knew the writing was on the wall. I watched the whole series and honestly for the first time I saw his age affect him more than I had ever seen. I know he wanted to play much longer but deep down I believe he knew that he couldn’t compete at his full potential. My emotions were all over the place as I watched one of my idol’s somewhat struggle at times, but also the closing of one of the best careers baseball has seen. After a little thinking I honestly don’t think his career could have ended any better, back in his home country of Japan where his baseball career started, in a Mariners uniform where his career began in the U.S. Thanks so much for the memories, records broke, and the class you showed. There will never be another Ichiro Suzuki!!!

The Rollercoaster Ride of Spring Training.

As a die hard baseball fan February is a special time of year, it signals the fast approaching Spring Training of Major League Baseball. The start of Spring Training is something that makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning, very excited and anxious!!!  Things were a little different for me this year though.  My favorite player Ichiro was unsigned by a team going into Spring Training. At first I thought for sure any day, a team would pick him up sure he’s 44 but he still has a lot to offer.  As Opening Day was getting closer there were several big players that were still unsigned including Ichiro and my anxiety starting setting in. I began thinking of what would happen with Ichiro’s career in MLB if he doesn’t get signed.  I read a great article about Ichiro’s off season routine in Japan and also a little more into his personal life which is a rare glimpse because he is an extremely private person.  That story resonated with me as I could relate to parts of it.  In the article the writer indicated that if Ichiro didn’t get signed it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to stay in Japan and play another year or two and then just slip away in privacy.  Just the thought of his career ending in that fashion was completely mind blowing and extremely sad honestly. I tried to think of another future first ballot Hall of Famer whose career just ended abruptly like that and couldn’t think of one.  Lately players who have had Hall of Fame like careers are sent off with a farewell season if you will.  Each team would acknowledge him as well as the fans and present him with some sort of gift from the organization.  On May 7th the news came that Ichiro would be signed for one more year with the Seattle Mariners where his career in MLB started back in 2001.  It was truly an amazing feeling that he was going to play again and not just disappear into the shadows. He deserves more than that even though he would never say so.  Words can’t express how happy I am for him that he’s playing again, his life revolves around baseball and thinking of him not playing again here in the United States where he set and broke so many records would be tragic.  I’m excited for the 2018 season and what could very well be Ichiro’s last year in MLB!!!

Sharing My Collection via Social Media and Update to the Site…

For those of you that have visited the icollectichiro site I say thank you! I’m very excited about the ability to share my collection and passion for the game of baseball with you guys! When I first started the site I went hard at it scanning, cropping, uploading, and sorting cards into folders by years. It was a ton of fun and I actually learned a few things about some cards that I had that I didn’t know before. That being said I’m very particular about my collection as most collectors are.  I wanted to my site to be easy to navigate and the images to look as good as possible! I wasn’t going to take short cuts and be disappointed with the finished product. With all of that said I’m pleased to say that the site will be 100% current very soon! Since starting the site I have been active on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. I haven’t been showing much of my Ichiro collection since I would like to have my site up to date before doing so, but I have posted a few items and a lot of my NON Ichiro collection especially on Instagram. If you like what you see and want to see more including my NON Ichiro PC please follow me on the social media outlets mentioned and as always you can find me as icollectichiro!  Thanks again for stopping by I truly appreciate it!!!!

3000 Hits, Congratulations Ichiro Suzuki!!!

Recently more and more stories and articles have come out about Ichiro as he neared the historic 3000 hit club. One of the most memorable at least for me was his trip’s to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The story resonates to his character and selflessness. The way he honored and paid respect for the player’s before him, several of which held records he broke was nothing but class!

Ichiro has always been a very private person, who doesn’t seek praise for his accomplishments or his multitude of Major League Baseball awards or records he holds. He just does what he needs to do to help the team in anyway possible defensively or offensively. We’ve all heard the stories about Ichiro displaying his power during batting practice, holding an impressive home run derby tier performance. When asked about it he said “I could probably hit 40 a year but my average would be .220”. Sure 40 home runs a year is amazing but a .220 average is not and definitely not good for the team overall.

Ichiro Suzuki is truly the best player I have had the chance to watch play, the game of baseball. The way he conducts himself on and off the field personifies a Major League Baseball player that never allowed himself to be bigger than the game! Though I have never been to Cooperstown, planning a trip when Ichiro gets inducted would be a great way to mark off two items on the bucket list at once.

Congratulations Ichiro, for accomplishing another milestone in your amazing baseball career both in Japan and here in the U.S!!!

My Ichiro Endeavor

ichiro pic 7After being a long time sports card and memorabilia collector…(mostly baseball) with really no direction, the time came 6 years ago to narrow my focus. I thought of maybe collecting a certain team or set, but decided on just collecting a single player.  What a relief I thought, until I realized now I had to pick a player. After a lot of thought and thumbing through thousands of cards Ichiro Suzuki became my clear favorite. Collecting one of the best baseball players in the history of Major League Baseball wasn’t going to be easy, but I had a refined focus and I dove in. What I wish to share is my constantly evolving collection of everything Ichiro!