‘Ichiro Woman’ will get shocked by Ichiro … once more

It is Ichiro Suzuki weekend in Seattle because the Mariners rejoice the franchise icon and induct him into the workforce’s corridor of fame on Saturday night time — actually a prelude to his induction into Cooperstown in a couple of years. Earlier than Friday’s sport, Ichiro was even in uniform, shagging flies within the outfield with rookie phenom Julio Rodriguez.

The festivities kicked off with the primary pitch — one thing groups often get fallacious with the likes of company sponsors, native politicians or C-list celebrities usually receiving first-pitch honors. This time the Mariners bought it proper.

The primary-pitch honoree was Iris Skinner — often known as “Ichiro Woman” for a viral video from years in the past when Ichiro chased a foul ball into the right-field stands and collided with Skinner, eliciting a euphoric response from her. The hitch: Skinner did not know Ichiro can be catching her first pitch. Her pleasure when Ichiro popped out of the Mariners dugout was palpable.

So, good job, Mariners. It is exhausting to consider, however Ichiro’s Rookie of the Yr and MVP season method again in 2001 was the final time the Mariners made the playoffs. For too lengthy, Mariners followers have had too little to cheer for, and the nostalgia for that record-breaking 2001 workforce that gained 116 video games has solely grown with every succeeding non-playoff season. This yr’s membership has an actual probability to lastly finish that postseason drought — and Rodriguez’s mega-contract extension indicators the Mariners lastly have a brand new icon for the fan base to rally round.

Skinner’s first pitch was a beautiful baseball second, a reminder of how followers make private connections with the groups and gamers they root for. However hopefully Ichiro’s Corridor of Fame ceremony will tie the bow on 2001. Mariners followers want new reminiscences.

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