The Miami Marlins today announced that they have re-signed Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year contract for the 2016 season. The announcement was made by Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill.
Ichiro, 41, became the first Japanese-born player to play for the Marlins after signing with the team prior to the 2015 season. He appeared in a team-high 153 games, while making 89 starts, and led the Marlins with 45 pinch-hit appearances. With 91 hits this past season, Ichiro moved into a tie with Barry Bonds for 34th place on MLB's all-time hits list, with 2,935 career hits, passing Babe Ruth (2,873), Mel Ott (2,876), Al Simmons (2,927) and Rogers Hornsby (2,930), among others. In the final game of the season, Ichiro made his first Major League pitching appearance, becoming just the third player ever with at least 2,935 career hits to pitch in a ML game, joining Ty Cobb (1925) and Wade Boggs (1999).
Entering the 2016 season, Ichiro needs just 65 hits to become the 30th player in ML history to reach 3,000 hits. With 498 career stolen bases, he is just two stolen bases shy of becoming only the eighth player in ML history to reach 2,900 hits and 500 stolen bases.
A two-time batting champ, Ichiro owns a .314 career average with 1,348 runs, 341 doubles, 738 RBI, 498 stolen bases, and a .356 on-base percentage. He led or tied for the ML lead in hits seven times, matching Pete Rose and Ty Cobb for the most such seasons of all time, while becoming the only player in MLB history to do so in five consecutive seasons (2006-10). In 2004, he set the modern-day MLB single-season record with 262 hits, breaking George Sisler's record of 257 hits set in 1920. In 2001, Ichiro became just the second player ever to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in the same season, joining Fred Lynn (1975).
Upon joining the Seattle Mariners in 2001, he became the first Japanese-born position player in MLB history, following a nine-year career with the Orix Blue Wave in Japan. Ichiro is a 10-time MLB All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove Award winner and three-time Silver Slugger winner, while also winning the 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year awards and the 2007 All-Star Game MVP. Ichiro played 11-plus seasons with the Seattle Mariners before being traded in July, 2012 to the New York Yankees, where he spent two-plus seasons.