Ichiro Suzuki became the 10th player of the Seattle Mariners' Hall of Fame, giving his 16-minutes speech in English at T-Mobile Park on August 27 local time.
In front of about 45,000 Seattle fans in the stadium, the superstar wearing a dark blue suit expressed his grateful feelings, causing laughter and impression. The fans repeatedly gave the historical player a big hand, and Ichiro chant in the middle of his speech.
Former teammates Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Jamie Moyer, Jay Buhner, and Dan Wilson, who had previously been honored by the Mariners, attended the ceremony that included video messages from Randy Johnson, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, and Daisuke Matsuzaka. The 48-year-old star will be eligible for induction into Cooperstown in 2025.
Some of Ichiro Suzuki's speeches below;
“What’s up, Seattle”
“Twenty-two years ago, my life forever changed when I became a Seattle Mariner. I am beyond grateful to this organization and this city.”
“I am touched by the warm support of so many Mariner Hall of Famers who made time to be here tonight … I am honored to join this new Mariners team. Thank you all for being here to welcome me in person.”
“Baseball will forever be my soul, and my mission is to keep helping both players and fans appreciate this special game.”
“I want our players to know I am with you in your fight to be the best. I was 27 years old when I came to Seattle. I could never imagine my career in America would last 19 seasons and that I would still be in Seattle today."
“Lou kissed me right here on the cheek,”
“The manager gave me a big wet kiss. That doesn't happen in Japan. I was shocked. Honestly, I was scared. I thought to myself if this is customary in America, I might not make it here. Remember, we won 116 games that year. I wasn't ready for 116 kisses from the manager.”
“Your future has possibilities that you cannot imagine as well. So embrace it by giving your best without imposing a limit on yourself. If a skinny, undersized guy from Japan can compete in this uniform and stand before you tonight to accept this honor, then there’s no reason you cannot do it either.”
“When I returned in 2018, it was as if I had never left. The passion with which you welcomed me back touched my heart. It is one of the best memories of my career, and I will never forget that feeling.”
“It is my greatest honor to have played for you as a Seattle Mariner. I will keep doing my best for you and the Mariners.”
Mariners Hall of Fame Members;
1984-1991 / first baseman / Inducted in 1997
1977-2010 / Announcer / Inducted in 2000
1988-2001 / Outfielder / Inducted in 2004
1987-2004 / Third baseman, DH / Inducted in 2007
1989-1998 / Light-handed pitcher /
Inducted in 2012
1994-2005 / Catcher / Inducted in 2012
Ken Griffey, Jr
1989-1999, 2009-2010 / Outfielder / Inducted in 2013
1993-2002 / Manager / Inducted in 2014
1996-2006 / Light-handed pitcher / Inducted in 2015
2001-2012, 2018-2019 / Outfielder / Inducted in 2022
(Ichiroad No.472 / KAISPO No.1201)