When you think about, there is only one true choice for the Mariners all-time greatest right fielder. You could argue that there are two, but the complete career that our selection had over more than a decade with the M’s will help him become a first ballot hall of famer.
If you’ve ever played baseball, you know how hard it is to hit the ball in fair ground and where the fielders aren’t. However, for our pick as the Mariners greatest right fielder, Ichiro Suzuki, it has always been a walk in the (ball)park.
Even though Ichiro has gone on to reach a handful of record-setting marks with other clubs, he made a name for himself in Seattle.
Coming into this season -his 26th between the Nippon Baseball League and the MLB- he has 4,308 hits. That’s more than any other professional baseball player in the world.
More than half of those hits came during his time in Seattle from his Rookie of the Year and MVP season in 2001 through his final campaign in 2012 before he was traded to the New York Yankees.
He broke George Sisler’s record for most hits in a single season with 262 in 2004 and then he became the first player in baseball history to record 200+ hits in 10 consecutive years.
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In the Mariners record books, he ranks ahead of everyone in triples by a long shot with 79, tops the stolen bases list by a mile with 438 -148 more than the next closest player, Julio Cruz, and is next to best all-time in doubles with 295.
Defensively, Ichiro was also magic. In each of his first six years with the Mariners, the Japanese superstar had a fielding percentage above .990. Aside from just making the play, he would make a handful of outfield assists that often wowed the crowd too. From 2003-2005 and in 2008, Ichiro put up double-digit assist totals per season.
Because of this, he earned the Gold Glove for his brilliance in the outfield for his first 10 campaigns. Only Ken Griffey Jr. has as many Gold Gloves as a Mariner.
Ichiro is the first player in Mariners history to win the Silver Slugger award, Rookie of the Year, AL MVP, All-Star Game MVP and Gold Glove award. That is why he is our selection for the greatest right fielder to ever put on a Mariners uniform.