Future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki is best known as one of the most skilled batsmen of his era. The Japanese superstar arrived in Major League Baseball in 2001 at the age of 27, and over the next two decades (or thereabouts), he batted .311 with 3,089 hits, mostly for the Mariners. That's to say nothing of his excellence in the outfield and on the bases.
In 2015 as a member of the Marlins, Ichiro added "pitcher" to his MLB dossier:
Why are we mentioning this now in late 2021? We do so because Ichiro, now 48, recently returned to the mound in his native Japan to face an All-Star team of high school girls. Color-television footage forthcoming? Color-television footage forthcoming:
Ichiro wound up striking out 17 on the day, and, as Jason Cockrey points out, along the way he threw 147 pitches (!) and topped out at 84 mph with his fastball. At the plate, though, Ichiro was 0 for 3. Let us also note that Ichiro was not afraid to claim the inside of the plate, albeit in breaking-ball fashion and with all apologies attached:
Ichiro says: "Get off my Plate!!" pic.twitter.com/2WGq9OYRNc— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) December 18, 2021
Of his outing, Ichiro said:
"I used to pitch in high school. I did pitch in an All-Star Game in Japan. But to be on the mound at a Major League Baseball game, you can say one of my dreams came true today. But I'll never ask to do that again."
It says here -- deep in the heart of the desolate current landscape of MLB -- that Ichiro should ask to do whatever he wants, at least when it comes to This, Our Baseball.