Steady Domination: Oakley’s Ichiro Suzuki Grabs MLB’s ‘Most Dependable Player of the Year’ Honors
“With Ichiro, you know what you’re gonna’ get.”
And that’s kick-a** play all the time. MLB.com said it. We knew it. And the World was reminded of that fact this past week when Oakley’s Ichiro Suzuki was named the ‘Most Dependable Player of the Year” in the Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards on the MLB Network. The facts tell the whole story.
A Major League record of 10 straight 200 hit seasons. 10 straight All-Star appearances. 10 Straight Golden Glove Awards. That’s pure awesomeness, plain and simple.
“That’s got Cooperstown written all over it,” MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds raved during the official awards announcements, referring to Ichiro charging on the track to a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
And he was the only non-pitcher of the 10 stars considered for the honor – which is decided by a combination of fan votes on MLB.com, media, front-office personnel and former players.
“When you can bring what he brings to the table every day, what a guy to go buy a ticket to watch play,” continued Reynolds. “He’s going to do something. He’s going to steal a bag, get a hit, make a great play, a great throw. That’s dependability. And that’s Ichiro.”
Suzuki, the only position player in the category, secured the honor with 43 percent of the voting, edging Roy Halladay’s 39 percent. His Mariners teammate Felix Hernandez finished third with eight percent.
The Japanese superstar hit .315 and lead the Major Leagues in hits for the fifth straight season with 214, joining Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only players to lead the Majors for seven or more seasons during their tenures.
Ichiro and Rose now share the Major League record with 10 career 200-hit seasons. Cobb held the previous American League record of nine.
Oakley’s Baseball charger started all 162 games for the Mariners (160 in right field and two at designated hitter), joining the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp as the only players to start every game. He’s now played in 192 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the AL.
According to the MLB Network, Ichiro’s dependability is about more than endurance. His unique blend of speed and bat control helped him reach base on a Major League-leading 59 infield hits, 20 more than runnerup Julio Borbon.
His 516 career infield are the most in the Majors since his ‘01 debut and one of the reasons he’s accumulated 2,244 hits in 10 seasons. He reached the 2,200-hit plateau on Sept. 1 against the Angels, achieving that career mark faster than any player over the past 65 years.
If that’s not enough for you, Ichiro stole 42 bases to become just the sixth Major Leaguer since 1901 to steal at least 20 bases in 10 straight seasons to kick off their career.
One big honor for our slugger and a huge testament to the consistent domination he displays year in and year out. Congrats from the Oakley family!
Link to the Full Announcement at MLB.com (Click): MLB Network: “Most Dependable? Ichiro, of course”