Even at 50 years old, Ichiro Suzuki is still wowing fans on the baseball field.
These days, the future Hall of Famer is giving back to the baseball community in his home country by teaching the next generation of Japanese players. Two weeks ago, he dropped by a high school to give some tips and hit a home run that shattered a classroom window. (The school hired a contractor to carefully remove the window without damaging it further so that it could be preserved as a souvenir of the legend’s visit.)
This week, Ichiro was at it again. On Tuesday, he and a team of former pros took on a an all-star team of high schoolers in an exhibition game at the Tokyo Dome. The game was just for fun, but Ichiro still played to win. He pitched for his team and utterly dominated, throwing a complete-game shutout on 116 pitches. He allowed five hits and two walks while striking out nine.
50-year-old Ichiro Suzuki pitched a complete-game shutout on 116 pitches against a high school girls team today. He had nine strikeouts, topping out at 86 MPH— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) November 21, 2023
He went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double pic.twitter.com/p1Mu1PiOWN
Despite picking up 4,367 combined career hits in Japan and the majors, Ichiro was still placed in the traditional pitcher’s spot in the lineup, ninth. He picked up two hits in the game. Former MLB pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was the most notable of Ichiro’s teammates. He batted cleanup and played shortstop.
This is the second time Ichiro has played an exhibition game against a girls team at the Tokyo Dome. The first game last year was conceived as a way to boost female participation in the sport.
Ichiro also threw a complete game in last year’s game, striking out 14. But he did surrender a run in the first inning after allowing a triple to An Morisaki.
“I was watching Ichiro’s pre-game batting practice,” Morisaki said after the game. “I tried to imitate it and was able to get a hit.”