Often referred to as the Michael Jordan of Japanese baseball by his fans, Ichiro Suzuki is undoubtedly one of the greatest Japanese players to have played the game. Beyond his legendary baseballer status, Ichiro is widely regarded as a national institution in his home country of Japan. He played in Japan for the first nine years after which he made the intercontinental move to America’s MLB team side Seattle Mariners in 2001. This career-defining move made the left-handed outfielder to be the first Japanese nonpitcher to be signed on by a team from the United States.
Since 2001, Ichiro has remained a pacesetter and has created several records in his long-running professional career. Ichiro Suzuki a.k.a. “hitting machine” experienced his hottest streak in 2004 as he broke an 84-year old record of the most hits in a single season having finished the year with a record 262 hits. The history-making game in which this new record was set has been described by Suzuki as the best moment of his career and also earned him a frenzied followership by fans.
Ichiro Suzuki’s Bio, Age
Ichiro Suzuki was born in Kasugai, Aichi on October 22, 1973, to Yoshie and Nobuyuki Suzuki. However, he was raised in the town of Toyoyama, Aichi along with his only sibling, a sister named Kazuyasu Suzuki. His father Nobuyuki Suzuki was a high school baseball player in his heyday and thus, was determined to give his son an early start in the sport. His father started tutoring him as early as age three.
Ichiro had his high school education at Aikodai Meiden High School, a school famed for its reputable baseball program. The youngster was initially recruited as a pitcher into school’s baseball program which marked the beginning of one of the most illustrious individual sports careers in the history of Japan. Ichiro posted impressive stats at the end of his high school career with a cumulative batting average of .505 and 19 home runs.
Ichiro Suzuki was drafted by the Orix BlueWave in the November 1991 Draft of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. His 9-year stint with the team was dotted with some of the most prestigious awards in Japanese baseball including 7 All-Star features, 3 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, 7 Golden Glove Awards, and an unprecedented 3 Japan Professional Sports Grand Prizes.
Ichiro Suzuki joined the Seattle Mariners of the Major League Baseball in 2001 where he spent the bulk (12 years) of his MLB career. In July 2012, the talented player joined the New York Yankees where he had a two and a half seasons stint and after which he got signed to the Miami Marlins. Ichiro Suzuki returned to his first MLB team the Mariners in 2018 after a 3 season run with the Marlins.
Ichiro Suzuki currently holds the MLB record for the highest number of hits in one season (262), the highest number of successive 200-hit seasons (10) and also the most hits by a player of Japanese origin. As an intercontinental star, Ichiro also holds the record for the most hits by a single player in the first-level baseball leagues of the world. He has been inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, becoming the first MLB player to be so honored.
Who is Ichiro Suzuki’s Wife?
Just like his brilliant sports career, Ichiro Suzuki has also had it good on the home front. The legendary baseballer is married to his wife of nearly 2 decades Yumiko Fukushima, a former sportscaster. The couple tied the knot on December 3, 1999, in Santa Monica, California. Yumiko Fukushima also doubles as the manager of her husband’s finances. Early in his career, Ichiro’s finances were handled by his father. However, he transferred that crucial role to his wife following a tax evasion scandal which cost the baseball star thousands of dollars in addition to intense media scrutiny.
Ichiro Suzuki belongs to the rank a select few players who have conquered more than one top-tier league in their professional careers. In addition to his career earnings, the international baseball star equally enjoys several juicy endorsement deals in the United States, his home country of Japan and indeed across the world. Ichiro’s net worth is pegged at an estimate of $180 million.
Height and Other Body Measurements
The baseball superstar stands at a height of 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm) with a 79 kg (175 lbs) body weight. By baseball standards, Ichiro is relatively small in stature. However, whatever the Japanese-born star lacks in stature, he adequately makes up for in strength and endurance.