Plus: winter, spring, and the radio waves that fill them.
View this email in your browser

Ichiro's Greatest Hits (on FanGraphs)

Ichiro Suzuki is a Mariner. That news was official on Monday. Ichiro will return to his first major league city and the one that lucked out on getting his prime years in MLB. Of his 3,080 hits in the league, 2,711 of them came in teal. If the truth behind Ichiro’s humor (saying “I think I’ll just die” when asked about retirement) weren’t so loud, I’d say this would be his last trip to sea. Ichiro will probably recapture only hints of the kind of play that will get him to the Hall of Fame, and that’s just fine.

Ichiro’s career is old enough at 17 years to be planning for life after graduation. FanGraphs didn’t exist for all of it, and roundups like this are usually reserved for an event’s conclusion, but the career is glorious enough to look back at articles that attempt to describe Ichiro as his career continues forward.
  1. Ichiro and Infield Hits, by Dave Allen — Ichiro once said, “I think there’s sexiness in infield hits because they require technique.” This so happened to be not long after FanGraphs first opened its virtual doors, and such, the quote is what inspired one of the first articles posted about him.

  2. Ichiro’s Opposite Field Magic, by Jack Moore — Ichiro has been referred to as a wizard more than once. Here, Jack looks at how he used that to produce opposite field magic.

  3. Revisiting Ichiro’s First Ever Ejection, by Carson Cistulli —  In an appearance from the now put to rest NotGraphs, is an act of beautiful insolence from our dear Ichiro.

  4. Ichiro’s Career and the Hall of Fame, by Jeff Sullivan — It was 2011 when Jeff wrote this article, deeming Ichiro worthy of the sport’s highest honor, not just for his athletic feats, but something more.

  5. Ichiro Suzuki: Bad Luck, or Bad Age?, by Bradley Woodrum — It was also 2011 when Bradley questioned the reason for Ichiro’s decline in production. No career is truly pristine. (It was 2012 when Bradley decided Ichiro would bounce back.)

  6. Ichiro’s Hat: A Study, by Robert Baumann — This is likely the most important article in this list. Trust me.

  7. Honoring Ichiro, by Michael Barr — Michael argued that Ichiro’s time in Seattle should come to an end in 2013. It did. And now we know it also didn’t.

  8. A Brief History of Ichiro Wanting to Pitch, by Jeff Sullivan — Position players pitching is a unique joy of baseball, but this article took on more importance when Ichiro joked (or maybe not-joked) during his press conference Wednesday that he hoped he would be allowed to pitch to Shohei Ohtani.

  9. Ichiro Is Hitting Almost Literally Everything, by Jeff Sullivan — In 2016, as Jeff puts it, Ichiro re-earned his exclamation point. This article feels like finding the disappeared wizard from folktales on the outskirts of town, happy as ever.

  10. Ichiro Suzuki’s Greatest Hits, by Paul Swydan — As far as hitting baseballs between two white lines goes, Ichiro is one of the best and most prolific to ever do it. On August 7, 2016, Ichiro notched his 3,000th major league hit. Looking at some of his greatest was the best way to celebrate.

  11. Could Ichiro Have Been a Power Hitter?, by Eno Sarris — Ichiro’s quotes are incredible enough to act as muses for more than one FanGraphs article. This time, Ichiro’s words pushed Eno to imagine what would have to happen for Ichiro to have been a power hitter.


FanGraphs produces over 400 articles each month, in addition to our ever-growing database of stats and graphs. Support our efforts today!

Throwback Thursday: The Mariners’ Spring Power and Traveling North

Questioning what we take for granted is a foundational start to any new discovery. At this point in 2013, the Mariners had nine more home runs than the next best team. Could this tell us anything about what would happen to their power after the team traveled back north?
Subscribe to our Podcasts!
Catch up on past newsletters or pass along to a friend here.
Data Visualization of the Day: You’ll Never Guess What’s Happening in Spring Training
Okay ... maybe you will.

Excerpt from "Radio Days: A Treasure Trove of Old-Time Baseball" by Shane Tourtellotte 

"That’s how I came to spend much of my winter in the midst of summer, or quite often the early fall. My explorations ranged from Dizzy Dean and the Gashouse Gang to Charlie Finley and the Mustache Gang. I heard voices long passed, and only recently gone, and a couple who are still with us. The one great flaw was that I usually knew how the game would end, but I found the roads to my destinations were worth the traveling."

Copyright © 2018 FanGraphs Inc, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list