Ichiro Suzuki is the greatest Japanese baseball player to ever play in the United States.

Before we get into this, let’s take a brief look at some of the storylines for the New York Yankees going into 2013.

Year by year, sports writers have written the Yankees off but somehow they keep making the playoffs. 

This season due to age, injuries and an older rotation, it’s easier than ever to write the Yankees off going into 2013.  

Beloved pitcher Mariano Rivera—probably the greatest player ever at his position—is in the sunset of his career and will retire at season’s end.

This will inevitably be followed by the retirement of an even more iconic Yankee legend—Derek Jeter.  

However, as is perpetually the case with most storied franchises in American sports, there are still plenty of reasons to tune into the Yankees this year.  

One of the primary ones is the chance to watch Ichiro play the next two years of his career in the media frenzy that is New York City.  

The 39-year-old has a .322 lifetime batting average, 308 doubles, 80 triples, 452 stolen bases and 2,606 hits in only 8,085 career at-bats.  He was also an All-Star and Gold Glove winner in 10 consecutive seasons (2001-10), won three Silver Sluggers and was both the Rookie of the Year and American League Most Valuable Player in his rookie season.

Not only that, but he’s made the transition to playing in the Bronx look effortless and seems to relish the fact that he plays in such a media-hungry environment.

But what’s most impressive of all of Ichiro’s accomplishments in his 12-year major league career is the fact that he will most likely accomplish something in 14 years that have taken most players in baseball a quarter of a century of play to achieve.

So when you tune into the Yankees this season, remember that not only are you watching history in the making, but you are also witnessing the greatest Japanese baseball player ever walk into the record books faster than anyone who has ever played the game. 

Special Thanks: I appreciate the insight and dedicate this article to my friend Bryan Valvana who for years has been a die hard Yankee fan that won’t shut up!

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