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Ichiro is one of baseball’s true treasures and, at 41-years-old, we only have so much time left to enjoy him on the diamond. He’s already had an incredible career and done plenty of impressive things. One thing he’d never done, though, was take the mound as a pitcher.
That is, until Sunday.
In the Marlins’ season finale against the Phillies in Philadelphia, the Japanese outfielder toed the rubber in relief for Miami in what was his first-ever pitching appearance in his MLB career. Ichiro, who pitched quite a bit in high school and even took the mound for a Japanese All-Star Game back in 1996, showed off some pretty impressive stuff, throwing breaking balls and off-speed pitches in addition to a fastball with zip on it.
His final box score read one inning pitched with two hits and an earned run, which won’t bode well for his career ERA, but we’re all better off for having witnessed Ichiro make a batter look silly on the mound.