Often known simply as Ichiro, nicknamed “Ichi” & “The Hits Man”, is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Seattle Mariners. Ichiro has established a number of batting records, including the sport’s single-season record for base hits with 262. He has had nine consecutive 200-hit seasons, the longest streak by any player, surpassing Wee Willie Keeler. Pete Rose, who had ten non-consecutive 200-hit seasons, is the only player with more in his career than Ichiro.
Ichiro moved to the United States in 2001 after playing nine years for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan’s Pacific League. Posted by Orix after the 2000 season, Ichiro became Seattle’s right fielder. The second Japanese-born everyday position player in the major leagues, Ichiro led the AL in batting average and stolen bases en route to being named Rookie of the Year and MVP.
Ichiro is the first MLB player to enter the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame (The Golden Players Club). He has been voted onto nine All-Star teams by the fans, winning the 2007 All-Star MVP Award for a three-hit performance that included the event’s first-ever inside-the-park home run. Ichiro has won a Gold Glove award in each of his first nine years in the major leagues, and has had six hitting streaks of 20 or more games, with a high of 27.
Ichiro’s agent Tony Attanasio described his client’s status: “When you mail Ichiro something from the States, you only have to use that name on the address and he gets it [in Japan]. He’s that big.”