In 2016, Ichiro marked two major milestones in his career.
He reached 4,257 career hits, surpassing the major league record.
He also chalked up his 3,000th hit in the majors.
But Ichiro did not appear to be destined for greatness when he started his baseball career.
In 1992, Suzuki joins Orix BlueWave as the No. 4 draft pick.
In 1994, Ichiro becomes the first player in Japanese pro baseball history to reach 200 hits in a single season.
MVP in 1994
“[My success this year] doesn’t seem like something I could do.”
MVP in 1995
“After going through some tough times, I achieved more success than I expected. I am happy my efforts have been recognized.”
MVP in 1996
“Compared to the past two years, I strongly feel that the entire team played together this year. I wonder if it’s fair that only I get this award.”
“The true reason I came here was to find out whether I have the ability to play” in the majors.
“I don’t think I have achieved my dream just by joining the Mariners. My dream will be realized for the first time if I am able to play through the whole season.”
“I don’t want to be an ordinary player. I need to become a player who not only pleases the fans, but also makes the players on my team and opposing teams happy.”
In July 2012, Ichiro makes a stunning announcement that he is moving to the world-famous New York Yankees after spending 11 years as a pivotal player with the Mariners.
At a press conference after marking his 4,257th hit, Ichiro says: “Since I was a child, I’ve always achieved things that people laughed at me for trying. I take pride in that. When I was in primary school, I had baseball training every day. Some of my neighbors saw me and said with a laugh, ‘Does he really think he’s going to be a professional baseball player?’”
“When I moved to the United States to play in the majors, I said, ‘I want to be a leading hitter.’ Again, people laughed at me.”