The legend of Ichiro keeps on growing.
Ten-time MLB All-Star Ichiro Suzuki didn’t hit for much power in the big leagues (just 117 home runs in 9,934 career at-bats), though many suspect that he could have, pointing to his legendary BP sessions at Seattle’s Safeco Field. Suzuki, who now serves as a special assistant to the chairman and spring training instructor for the Seattle Mariners (the team he spent most of his career with), was recently summoned to a local high school in his native Japan, where the two-time American League batting champ put on a hitting display for the ages.
Students were treated to a monster performance from the 48-year-old, who spent his afternoon at Kokugakuin Kugayama High (located in Tokyo’s Suginami ward) launching baseballs into the stratosphere. Aside from his hitting escapades, spraying balls all over the diamond including a towering home run that struck a nearby building on campus, Ichiro also dished on his running technique, showing players how they can use their arms to be more aerodynamic.
Suzuki’s appearance came months after receiving a heartfelt letter from students inviting him to practice as a guest instructor. The future Hall-of-Famer plans to visit at least two more area high schools this year, according to MLB.com’s Matt Monagan.
A global icon and one of the most influential players of his era, if Suzuki’s passion for the sport has waned at all since his retirement in 2019, it certainly didn’t show during his epic cameo at Kokugakuin Kugayama.