TOKYO (AP) — Talk about a serious home-field advantage.
Ichiro Suzuki had it on a night to celebrate all things Ichiro — “Ichiromania” in other words — as he started for the Seattle Mariners against the Oakland Athletics in MLB’s opening game of the season.
About 45,000 voices in a sellout crowd on Wednesday at the Tokyo Dome chanted his name as he took his place in right field. The scene is likely to be repeated on Thursday when the teams finish their Tokyo series. That game may also mark and end for the 45-year-old Ichiro, though no one is saying.
“I thought it was amazing to see the crowd come out here for him,” Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon said after a 9-7 win.