23 of 31 - SOLSC 2019
I made a decision - Ichiro's final time on a MLB field is worth watching on a screen larger than my phone. I turned on the TV and mirrored my screen through the Apple TV, bringing the stadium in Japan into my living room. The grin on my face stretched as wide as the moments of the standing ovation and hugs among players, coaches, and management. My mind racing back to the first time I ever heard of this guy who will end up in the Hall of Fame.
I had partial season tickets to the Mariners for a few years when baseball in Seattle moved from the Kingdome to the new baseball stadium. The single tickets I had to many games the last few years at the Kingdome weren't going to be so easy to come by and friends were eager to be regulars at the stadium as well. We loved our seats, loved cheering on our team, and loved our chances to be together.
When I wasn't at the stadium, I listened to Dave Niehaus announce on the radio. One day he spoke, excitedly, about this new player that had come over from Japan. I remember Dave calling him "Death To Flying Things" as he made incredible outfield plays that game. I happened to be going to the game the next night and made a sign touting the new slogan. The title never stuck, but that didn't make it any less true.
It was difficult to have Ichiro leave Seattle, especially to play for that damn team. (A-Rod left the year Ichiro arrived and the bitter taste for the Yankees had greatly intensified.) For some reason it wasn't as painful to see him in a Marlin's uniform.
This is a story with a happy ending, not only did Ichiro come back to Seattle to coach, but he came back to play - and was able to retire, in a Mariner's uniform, in Japan; one more Hall of Famer, headed to Cooperstown.