We’re all going to miss Ichiro Suzuki when he retires (though he doesn’t plan to anytime soon). Let’s make sure to enjoy his unbelievable feats on the diamond while he’s still providing them.
His latest came in the Marlins’ 10-6 win over the Rays on Wednesday night, and it flashed back to his younger days when his high-flying outfield robbery helped make him the living legend he is today. The unwilling beneficiary of this was Steven Souza, Jr., who was vying for a two-out bloop hit down the right-field line in the ninth inning, and received this instead:
According to Statcast™, Suzuki ran 107 feet in 5.3 seconds at a sprint speed of 28.5 feet per second. That’s fast. That’s even more impressive when you remember that Ichiro is 43 years old (or 43 years young, really, in his case).
For comparison’s sake, Ichiro’s play was on par with that of Twins’ outfielder Byron Buxton, who made a great grab of his own on Wednesday at a sprint speed of 29.8 feet per second. Oh, and Buxton’s 23 — just slightly more than half of Ichiro’s age. And, we must add, the catch probability of Ichiro’s grab was just 21 percent — so he made it count.
He’s got the key to the Fountain of Youth, there’s just no other way to explain it. Marlins manager Don Mattingly tried, postgame, to explain it to MLB.com’s J. Scott Butherus:
“The play down the line was typical Ich. He makes it look easy and graceful and that whole thing. He’s fun to watch.”
Donnie Baseball’s right. It is fun to watch, every single time.