Ichiro Pitching Debut: Future Hall of Famer Takes the Mound for the First Time at Age 41 (Video)
There weren’t many things that could have made game 162 between the Marlins and Phillies interesting. The two teams were a combined 56 games below .500, they had been eliminated from the postseason months ago, and Giancarlo Stanton was not in the lineup.
Luckily, the Marlins figured out a way to spice things up. With the Phillies up 6-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Marlins put future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki on the mound to pitch.
Miami wasn’t out of pitchers or anything. They were just helping Ichiro achieve a lifelong goal. The MLB’s active hits leader (non-PED division) started out as a pitcher in high school back in Japan. In 1996 he got the chance to pitch in the Japanese All-Star Game, and he’d been lobbying his managers for a chance to pitch since his arrival in Major League Baseball back in 2001.
So on Sunday, with absolutely nothing to lose, the Marlins said what the hell, let’s do this.
How was Ichiro’s stuff? Not bad for a 41-year-old. His fastball hit 88 mph, and he mixed in some pretty decent sliders.
Just ask Freddy Galvis:
Of course, major leaguers eat 88 mph fastballs for breakfast, Ichiro got dinged for two doubles and one earned run. But he also induced two fly balls and a grounder. So Ichiro pitching on 41 years rest was a hell of a lot better than Mark Buehrle pitching on two days rest.
Take a look:
So is that the last we’ll see of Ichiro? No chance. The guy has 2,935 hits. He’ll be back next season to chase the 3,000 hit milestone.
But his pitching career? Yeah, that might be over.
Hat Tip – [Cut4]