4. Ichiro Hits an Inside-the-Park Home Run
Ichiro represented the Mariners for his seventh-straight All Star Game in 2007. When he stepped into the batter’s box in San Francisco, the American League trailed the National League 1-0. Hilariously, Ichiro blasted a ball into right-center field, where none other than Ken Griffey, Jr. had to retrieve it and get it back in.
Unfortunately for Griffey and the National League, Ichiro was already racing home to score the go-ahead run. One future Hall of Famer beat another on a play that will live on in All-Star Game history.
Ichiro had of course already ascended to MLB star status. Most fans had already heard of the legend of Area 51 by this time, but his rare play in front of a former Mariners great helped further cement his star status and his legacy in the game.
Even though legendary Seattle-hater Joe Buck seems to be purposefully mispronouncing Ichiro’s name as Itch-ee-roe, the highlight was another example of how Ich put and kept the Mariners on the baseball map during his time in Seattle. Even in those lean years in the mid-early-2000s, Ichiro making the All-Star team every season helped the American League on the Midsummer Classic annually wearing that Seattle uniform. His oddly bouncing ball in front of Griffey himself was an extremely fun moment for all of us.