Ichiro Suzuki, Outfield, Miami Marlins, #51
Date of Birth: 10/22/1973
Birthplace: Kasugai, Japan
Ichiro Suzuki, outfielder for the Miami Marlins, began his professional baseball career in Japan. He started playing on a team at the age of seven and by the time he was in high school, he was already a skilled player. He started his career as a pitcher but he was a threat with the bat in high school, batting .505. He spent two years in the Japanese minor leagues before making his first major league appearance in 1992.
Ichiro's accomplishments in nine seasons (1992-2000) in the Japanese major leagues include:
- 3 MVP awards (1994-1996)
- 7 Gold Gloves (1994-2000)
- 7 batting titles (1994-2000)
- stolen base leader in 1995
- RBI leader in 1995
In November, 2000, Ichiro signed a three-year, $14 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. With that contract, he became the first Japanese position player in US major league baseball. In his first season with the Mariners, Ichiro batted .350, with 242 hits, 34 doubles, and 56 stolen bases.
Known as a singles hitter and base stealer, Ichiro has consistently had outstanding batting statistics. His best season was perhaps 2004, when he batted .372, with 262 hits, 24 doubles, and an on base percentage of .414. He stole 36 bases that season.
Ichiro is also known as an outstanding fielder and he has won 10 Gold Gloves (2001-2010). As a right fielder, he has made only 33 errors in 1,705 games.
During the 2012 season, Ichiro requested a trade from the Mariners and they obliged by trading him at the end of July to the New York Yankees. Since then, he has been an important defensive and offensive player for New York. In 2013, he batted .262 with 136 hits, 15 doubles, and 20 stolen bases in 150 games. He finished the 2014 season with 102 hits, 15 stolen bases, and a .284 batting average. Defensively, as an outfielder, he had a .994 fielding percentage.
Suzuki signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Miami Marlins on January 23, 2015. He finished the 2015 season with 91 hits and a .229 batting average in 153 games. Defensively, he played 30 games in left field, 7 games in center field, and 73 games in right field.
After the 2015 season ended, the Marlins gave Ichiro a one-year, $2 million contract for 2016. The contract includes a 2017 club option.
Suzuki had another good year in 2016, finishing the season with a .291 batting average, 95 hits, and 15 doubles. He hit his 3,000 MLB career hit on August 7, 2016. He is now number 24 on the all-time hits list and the highest ranking active player. The Marlins exercised his option for 2017 after the 2016 season ended and they added an additional option year to his contract.
In 2017, Suzuki batted .255 in 136 games with the Marlins. He had a career low 50 hits. Defensively, he played 9 games in left field, 10 games in center field, and 16 games in right field.
Ichiro's accomplishments in 17 seasons (2001-2017) in the US major leagues include:
- AL Rookie of the Year in 2001
- 3 Silver Slugger awards (2001, 2007, 2009)
- 10 Gold Gloves (2001-2010)
- AL MVP in 2001
- American League batting title in 2001 and 2004
- American League stolen base leader in 2001
- MLB single season hits leader in 2004 with 262
- All-Star Game MVP in 2007
- 13 seasons playing in at least 146 games each season
Statistics for Ichiro through the 2017 season include:
- 10 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .372 in 2004
- 12 seasons with over 150 hits and 10 of those seasons with over 200 hits, with a high of 262 in 2004
- 13 seasons with 20 or more stolen bases, with a high of 56 in 2001
Career batting statistics for Ichiro through 2017 include:
- 2,636 games played
- 3,080 hits
- 362 doubles
- 780 RBIs
- 509 stolen bases
- 1,072 strikeouts to 643 walks
- .312 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Ichiro as a right fielder through 2017 include:
- 1,967 games played
- 4,000 putouts
- 35 errors
- .992 fielding percentage
In March, 2011, Suzuki donated $1.25 million to the Japanese Red Cross.
Suzuki is the honored chairman of the annual Ichiro Cup Japanese boys baseball league tournament.
Suzuki and his wife Yumiko were married in December, 1999. They don't have any children.