My Mom, Grandpa's daughter, helped nurture my love for the game. She was a huge Mets fan. In 1969 they lived in Manhattan and the Mets went to the World Series - major miracle there. I was in college. An old college friend of hers flew in to go to the games with her (Daddy was massively indifferent to all sports except gin rummy and backgammon.) After every game, Mom and Mary Ivan would call me, long distance, at school, to fill me in on the score and the highlights.
I have so many wonderful baseball memories. When I moved to Seattle 26 years ago, I moved across the street from the Kingdome - the home of the Mariners and became their fan. You don't love the Mariners for all their World Series trophies. They have been in the major leagues for more than 40 years now and have never, not one single time, gotten to the World Series. They have played in a few elimination playoff games but not gotten close. Their last playoff game was in 2001.
You don't love them for their victories. You love them for their players and well, just because. Ken Griffey, Jr. played for the Mariners in a couple of stints and was fabulous to watch play and fun to have on the team.
But, Ichiro was a force. He was signed to the Mariners with much conversation. Who was this guy? Hot shot star in Japanese baseball but... Baseball people here said he'd never make it in American baseball. I remember some ESPN blowhards all agreeing that Ichiro would quickly fold when he saw American pitching.
He saw American pitching and raised them several. He was a joy to watch on and off the field. A marvelously melodious player who was just classy. He played here for 11 years and made them all better. And then he went to the Yankees and then he went to the Marlins. He got old. Really old. Gray hair. 44. And the Marlins said buh bye.
And, pending the results of a physical, Ichiro could, once again, play for the Mariners. The baseball know it alls say that it's a horrible move for the Mariners. Doing stupid stuff like spending money on washed up players is why they live at the bottom. (They also brought Ken Griffey, Jr. back at the end of his career.)
Maybe. I don't care. I loved seen Junior again and I cannot wait to see Ichiro play in my outfield once more.