Ichiro Suzuki has played 15 MLB seasons and nine more in Japan, compiling a whopping 4,213 hits in one of the most impressive professional careers in baseball history. But now, he's finally accomplished one of his dearest career goals: He has finally pitched.
During his stint with the Yankees, Ichiro told press that he wanted to pitch before the end of his career, touting his fastball and slider. He never got to in New York, but Sunday on the final day of the Marlins' season, he got to pitch the eighth inning.
ICHRIO IS OUT THERE THROWING SLIDERS pic.twitter.com/CpZ0qO1Oiv— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) October 4, 2015
Ichiro didn't do a perfect job -- he gave up two doubles, one for a run -- but he showed no difficulty hitting 88 miles per hour with his fastball. Not bad for a guy who turns 42 this month!
Although it was Ichiro's first MLB appearance, he had pitched once before in a professional game -- a pitcher in high school, Ichiro was allowed to face the final batter of the 1996 Japanese League All-Star game, retiring Shingo Takatsu:
We don't know how much baseball Ichiro has left -- although in 2014 he said he wants to play for "many, many years," his contract with Miami was just for one season, and he hit a dismal .230. But maybe he can catch on someplace as a reliever.
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