Ichiro Suzuki began his MLB career with the Mariners 19 years ago today

Ichiro Suzuki #51

On April 2, 2001, Ichiro Suzuki debuted with the Seattle Mariners, in a game against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field. After falling behind 0-4 in the 4th, the Mariners comeback started with a single by Dan Wilson in the bottom of the 4th to bring in Al Martin. In the bottom of the 5th, Bret Boone hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Mike Cameron, making it 2-4. In the bottom of the 7th, Edgar Martinez singled to bring in Ichiro and John Olerud singled to bring in Mike Cameron, tying it 4-4. Bottom of the 8th, John Olerud hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Carlos Guillen, for the lead and where they would hold on to win, 5-4.

Ichiro's debut consisted of 5 at bats,1 run, 2 hits and 1 strike out.

He was issued #51 by the Mariners, after expressing no interest in a uniform number. He was initially hesitant about the number, since it was previously worn by Randy Johnson. Ichiro sent a note to Johnson, promising he would "not bring shame" to the uniform.

Ichiro achieved a rookie record 242 hits, the most since any MLB player since 1930. His .350 batting average and 56 stolen bases was enough to lead the league in both categories since Jackie Robinson did it in 1949.

He won the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards.

The 2001 Seattle Mariners matched the 1906 Chicago Cubs with 116 wins and made it to the playoffs, although losing to the Yankees in the ALCS.

He also has the only inside the park home run in a MLB All-Star Game, hit on July 10, 2007.

On March 20, 2019, Ichiro played his final game with the Mariners, against Oakland. He retired later the day.

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