Results tagged ‘ Ichiro Suzuki ’

Ichiro to donate $1.25 million to Japanese relief

Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki is donating 100 million yen, which equates to about $1.25 million, to the Japanese Red Cross for earthquake and tsunami relief efforts, according to the Kyodo News Agency.

Ichiro has yet to comment publicly on the situation in his homeland.

Meanwhile, the Mariners are asking their fans and front office personnel to help out the Japanese relief funds as well and have promised to match all donations made at Safeco Field during their opening six-game homestand next month.

Red Cross volunteers will be outside the gates of Safeco taking donations on games against the Indians and Blue Jays from April 8-13. Donations will also be accepted at several locations inside the stadium and the club will also work with the Red Cross to collect funds at other upcoming games, including a Salute to Japan Night at a still-to-be-determined date.

The club will make a minimum donation of $100,000 to the Red Cross through Mariners Care, but will match any number that fans and front-office employees reach in the opening stand.

Proceeds from the first Mariners Care Saturday Silent auction on April 9 will also be dedicated to the Red Cross.

Nintendo Co., Ltd., the parent company of Nintendo of America, Inc., which owns the Mariners, has already announced on its Website that the corporation is donating 300 million yen, or the equivalent of $3.7 million.

“The Mariners join with people from around the world in extending our sympathy to the many people affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami,” Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln said in a statement. “The Mariners have had great support from the Japanese business community and fans all across Japan. Our thoughts and best wishes are with them as they begin the long road to recovery.”

Ichiro says he hasn’t heard yet from family in Japan

Ichiro Suzuki declined to speak with reporters Friday morning about the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Thursday night, saying through interpreter Antony Suzuki that he doesn’t have enough information to comment at this time.

Ichiro said he has not been able to contact his family or ascertain their situation.

“We don’t know yet because cell phones and power are down. There are 4 million people without power in Tokyo,” Ichiro said through Suzuki. “I have not got hold of my family yet.”

Antony Suzuki’s wife is currently traveling in Japan, but she is OK.

Hide Sueyoshi, the Mariners director of Minor League and International Administration, is a native of Osaka, Japan. He was shaken by the overnight news from his homeland.

“I’ve talked to my mother and friends in Tokyo,” Sueyoshi said. “I tried to reach my friend in the Sendai area who works for the Rakuten Eagles, but I could not reach him at all. The phone lines are just too busy, so I hope they are OK.”

Sueyoshi said he went through a big earthquake while living in Osaka in ’95, while Ichiro was in Kobe at the same time.

“I experienced that earthquake, so anytime it happens it’s tough for me to see,” he said. “I just hope all the people are OK. I know it’s a lot of confusion.”

Sueyoshi said the Rakuten Eagles are in Spring Training in the area of the quake.

“They have started exhibition games though, so I don’t know where they are,” he said. “They were playing yesterday, but I could not reach them. The phones are just too busy.”

Cust hasn’t quite pulled off Ichiro look just yet

Jack Cust, who cracked up Ichiro as well as the group of reporters interviewing the Japanese star on Saturday by trying to imitate his unique Ichiro wardrobe, said he’s never really met his new teammate before other than on the baseball field.

 But he is aware of the fashion style of the 37-year-old outfielder.

“Guys just said wait and see. And that you haven’t seen nothing yet,” Cust said Sunday. “So I guess I’ll wait and see.”

When Ichiro was surrounded by media members at his locker on Saturday, the club’s new designated hitter sat at his nearby locker and rolled up the bottom of his jeans to mid-calf level, mirroring Ichiro’s look … with some obvious differences in body type and style sense.

The 6-foot-1, 247-pound Cust told Ichiro on Saturday that he was going to go out and buy the same thin red leather belt he was wearing, then fistbumped him and headed out the door. You can read that full story here.

But, no, he didn’t quite come up with a new belt by Sunday.

“I’m not quite sure where you even buy that stuff,” Cust said.

Cameras aren’t allowed in the clubhouse, so sadly there is no photographic evidence of the Cust or Ichiro outfits. But I will include the photo I got of Ichiro’s first-day look when he arrived in Peoria and worked out on the practice field. And, no, this is not a look that Cust — or many others, for that matter — could pull off.

(Photo by Greg Johns/

Ichiro arrives in fine fashion … and hits the field

IchirCatch.JPGIchiro Suzuki plays catch on the Mariners practice field after taking his physical on Friday. (Photo by Greg Johns).

Like clockwork, Ichiro Suzuki arrives at the last minute every year for Training Camp, takes his physical and then hits the field for some light jogging and catch.

The 37-year-old walked through the doors of the Mariners complex in Peoria, Ariz., at 3:15 p.m. on Friday, the last Mariners player to show before the first full-squad workout Saturday..

As a group of about 100 fans gathered outside the parking lot gate awaiting his departure — and the shot at an autograph — the 10-time All-Star hit the back field and limbered up.

He’ll be in full uniform Saturday morning when new manager Eric Wedge addresses his team for the first time and then sends them out for the start of the 2011 campaign.

Ichiro declined to talk to the media on Friday, another tradition, and said he’ll speak after Saturday’s practice.

We’ll have the full report here at and you can follow me on Twitter at GregJohns1 for the latest.

Felix/Cy Young bobblehead kicks off 2011 promotions

A Felix Hernandez/Cy Young bobblehead, tributes to the former Sonics franchise as well as the Mariners’ 116-win season in 2001 and, yes, a Franklin Gutierrez fly swatter highlight the giveaways and promotional events upcoming this season, as announced by the club Wednesday.

Felix Cy Young Bobblehead.jpgA celebration of the 10th anniversary of the franchise’s record-setting ’01 season will take place Saturday, July 16 when the Mariners face the Rangers. Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson, John Olerud, Mark McLemore, Jeff Nelson, Bret Boone, Jamie Moyer and other members of the 116-win team will be on hand for a pregame ceremony. GM Pat Gillick, who will go into the Hall of Fame the following weekend, will also be on hand.

Additionally, the first 20,000 fans will receive a T-shirt with the 10th Anniversary logo of the 116-win campaign.

Then on July 29, the Mariners will salute the Sonics’ history with former players from the NBA franchise gathering pregame before the opening game of a series against Tampa Bay.

As for the always-popular giveaways, the first 20,000 fans at the season’s second home game (Saturday, April 9 against Cleveland) will receive a Felix bobblehead with the pitcher holding his Cy Young trophy.

There will also be an Ichiro bobblehead night on Friday, May 6, when the first 25,000 fans receive a replica of the All-Star right fielder atop a mini-tote board that fans can reset each day to keep track of his hits as he pursues a record 11th straight 200-hit season.

The Mariners are also promoting their return to the Northwest Green alternate jerseys, which will be worn on Monday and Friday home games this season. In that vein, the first 20,000 fans on Friday, June 3, will receive a “Go Green” train car.

On Friday, June 17, the first 20,000 fans will take home a green Ichiro T-shirt and on Friday, Aug. 26, the first 15,000 fans ages 21 and older will receive a green Mariners fleece blanket. The club is also encouraging fans to go green by wearing that color to Monday and Friday games.

As for the Gutierrez fly swatter? That one comes as a tribute to Dave Niehaus’ nickname of “Death to Flying Things” for the Gold Glove center fielder. Thus on Thursday, May 19, the first 20,000 fans will get a Gutierrez-shaped flyswatter.

Other highlights of the season’s promotional giveaways:

— Saturday, April 23: Salute to Armed Forces Night.

— Friday, May 27: Viva Las Vargas Night in tribute to pitcher Jason Vargas, with the first 10,000 fans receiving Elvis-style shades. Also includes prize giveaways that include a trip to Vegas.

— Saturday, June 18: King Felix Knit Cap Night for first 20,000 fans.

— Friday, July 1: Turn Back the Clock/’80s Night with Mariners and Padres wearing 1983 uniforms.

— Friday, Aug. 12: First 20,000 fans receive a T-shirt designed by Ichiro.

— Saturday, Sept. 17: Fan Appreciation Night with lots of prize giveaways including Holland America Lines cruises.

The full schedule of events for the upcoming season can be seen at

Single-game tickets for these and all games go on sale Saturday, March 12 at 10 a.m.