3. Ichiro Suzuki (2001-2012)
We now arrive at perhaps the “Holy Trinity” of Mariners lore, the first being Ichiro Suzuki. Beloved by fans still to this day, he has his name etched all over Mariners history.
Ichiro burst onto the scene in 2001 as the first Japanese-born position player to sign with a big league team. The high population of Japanese people in Seattle came out in droves to watch a master of his craft and they weren’t the only ones.
He became only the second player ever to win both Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season. Rightfully so, as he collected an astounding 242 hits with a .350 average and 56 stolen bases.
Not only was Ichiro a master with his bat, he won 10 Gold Gloves patrolling the outfield and had a rocket for an arm even as an athlete under six feet tall and barely 175 pounds. He would go on to make 10 All-Star teams, win three Silver Sluggers, two batting titles and even an All-Star Game MVP for the first ever inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history.
Last season, he finally reached the summit every great hitter aims for: 3,000 major league hits. However, when you take into account his professional hits in the Japanese leagues, his total is 4,308, more than Pete Rose himself.
In 2004, he set the MLB-record with 262 hits. During the 2012 season, he asked for a trade to a contender out of respect for the rebuilding Mariners.
They obliged and he hit .322 for New York that year on his way to playing in the ALCS. He is currently suiting up for the Miami Marlins, who are scheduled to play at Safeco Field April 17-19 this season, assuring a warm homecoming for Ichiro.