Number 1: The Throw
Very few moments in sports can be remembered with just one phrase. In Seattle, we have only a handful. Names like “The Tip” and “The Double” are so easily recognizable for most any sports fan in Seattle, that no further explanation is required.
One such holder of this quirky honor was bestowed up Ichiro early in his rookie season during a chilly night in Oakland. On April 11th, in a 1 run game, Ramon Hernandez shot a single through the hole at second base. Terrence Long, the A’s speedster turned on the jets and barrelled into third base. On most night’s, Long would have been safe. There was no need to avoid a tag because nobody could make a perfect throw… Or so he thought.
Instead, waiting for Long’s foot in front of the bag, was 3B David Bell’s glove. And inside the glove, a baseball, that had almost magically transported into his glove. Long couldn’t believe it and shot a glance out to RF. There stood a skinny, 5’10” rookie who had just made the most recognizable throw in team history.
The play served as a warning to the rest of the league, that this kid could flat out play the game. The call was cemented in anals of Mariners history by Dave Niehaus’s iconic “Star Wars” call and was the beginning of the most magical season in the team’s history.
Ichiro had arrived, and it wouldn’t take long for him to capture our hearts. So there you have it, the 5 best Moments in Ichiro’s Mariners career. Did we miss something? Let us know. But let’s all agree on this: Ichiro was freaking incredible.