New York Yankees: Analyzing Ichiro’s legacy with the Yankees

New York Yankees. Ichiro (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
New York Yankees. Ichiro (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

Ex-New York Yankees player and overall baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki said goodbye to the game of baseball this week, so I felt now was the perfect time to analyze his legacy while wearing the pinstripes.

Many baseball legends have donned the iconic New York Yankees pinstripes at some point in their career and Ichiro Suzuki is no different. While he will always be, and should be remembered for his days up in Seattle, he still had an interesting career with the Yankees.

While it is easy to look at Ichiro’s overall career as wonderful, really it was, he spent almost three seasons with the Yankees and was nothing but what we all expected. While he would play three more seasons and change after leaving the Bronx, the Yankees are the team where he really had his last few great seasons, never eclipsing the 100 hit mark after leaving.

Also, the Yankees gave Ichiro the chance to do something the Mariners never did beyond his rookie season in 2001, play in the MLB playoffs. Ichiro is one of the best players of all-time to have never won a World Series title as a player, an MVP player, multi-time batting champion, multi-time all-star, never even played in a World Series.

So, that is great for him and the Yankees that they gave him a chance to play for a title. He was traded to the Yankees in the middle of the 2012 season, the last season the Yankees won the division, and became a piece that helped them get all the way to the ALCS.

In that postseason, Ichiro would up gathering three runs, five hits, a home run (his only career playoff home run), and 5 RBIs. He hit ,217 in the ALDS, but did his part in the CS hitting .353. Ichiro really did help the Yankees during that postseason run and helped them get there in general. He played 67 games for the Yanks after arriving and hit .322 with a whooping 72 hits.

Ichiro ended up staying with the Yankees for another two seasons after helping them get to the playoffs, Overall in his Yankees career, he would play in 360 games, amass 311 hits, hit 13 home runs, 84 RBIs, and batted .281.

So overall, Ichiro obviously had his best days while a member of the Seattle Mariners. I am not trying to take that away from him or them. And even though he technically played in more games for the Marlins after leaving the Yanks for them, he helped the Yankees more in terms of success and he put up better numbers with them.

Ichiro is not going to be remembered as a Yankees legend in any way. He should not even be remembered as a great Yankee. However, while he was here, it was fun. We all know the kind of teammate and student of the game that he is. He came to the biggest market in America towards his later years and didn’t skip a beat.

He is one of the best baseball players to ever live. One of the hitters that defines an entire generation of baseball. If nothing else, it is simply awesome, and makes a lot of sense that he spent time with the Yankees. It could have been three at bats and it would have been surreal, it ended up being three solid years.

And once he left the Yankees at the end of 2014, they made the playoffs in 2015 as a Wild Card. I would like to believe his clubhouse influence carried over on some of the members of that 2014 team to help them do so.

Ichiro really is both a baseball hero and a legend. He made him self a star in two countries and always did it right. You can simply add Ichiro to the list of iconic players who once donned the Yankee pinstripes. Nothing more. Nothing less.

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Hats to you, Ichiro. I hope the Yanks do something for him, even if it’s just a small video tribute to him when the Mariners come to visit. He will still be around and no one should ever forget he was once a Yankee.