Four hours before the starting time of the game between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners , Ichiro was a Seattle Mariner. By the time the game kicked off at Safeco Field, Ichiro Suzuki had been traded to the Yankees in exchange for a pair of pitching prospects. New York sends over two 25-year-old right-handed pitchers, D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar, and in return they get one of the best MLB players of all time in the 38-year-old right fielder.
Ichiro, to his credit, took the trade in stride. After all, he’s 38 and the Mariners are terrible, with or without him. To their credit, Seattle Mariners fans were very respectful, and honored their traded superstar with a 45-second standing ovation. Ichiro responded to the applause by bowing to both sides of the stadium before stepping into the batter’s box as a Yankee for the first time, batting eighth to replace the injured Nick Swisher. Ichiro promptly smacked a single down the middle of the diamond, then stole second base.
“I am going from a team with the most losses to a team with the most wins,” said the Yankees’ new right fielder. ”It’s hard to contain my excitement for that reason.”
Ichiro will wear the number 31 as a Yankee; his normal 51 has not been worn since Bernie Williams retired. New York beat Seattle 4-1; in addition to the single and stolen base, Ichiro caught the final out.
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