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!!!

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