2001 Ichiro Suzuki Game Worn & Signed Seattle Mariners Roo...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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Description2001 Ichiro Suzuki Game Worn & Signed Seattle Mariners Rookie Jersey, MEARS A10. Not Ty Cobb, not Pete Rose, not any player in the history of Major League Baseball has recorded a decade of such prolific hitting as the man who began his first decade wearing the jersey we present here. A rookie at twenty-seven, Seattle's new arrival from Japan's Orix Blue Wave would claim the 2001 American League's Rookie of the Year, the MVP and the batting championship, as well as a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger and an All-Star berth, plunging a knife through the heart of the conventional wisdom that Nippon League stardom could not translate to the American game. It could be argued that Ichiro's rookie campaign was the greatest in the full history of the Majors.
Baseball purists will defend the official monarchy of Pete Rose for the metric, but it is mathematical fact that Ichiro's combined Nippon and MLB hit tallies (4,367) surpass that of Charlie Hustle. We can never know what might have been had Ichiro dedicated his nine seasons of Blue Wave service to the Bigs instead, but clear-headed consideration would lead most to the conclusion that Rose would have fallen.
Add the intrigue of an international sensation to the recipe, the validation of the wisdom of those famous early 1930's Tours of Japan, and we're left with one of the most significant baseball jerseys of the twenty-first century. The alternate navy format is a real looker too, with silver-shimmer identifiers announcing "Mariners" on the chest and "Ichiro 51" on verso. Left sleeve reports Seattle's hosting of the 2001 All-Star Game, where Ichiro was a participant, a patch worn for the full season by the team. The outer back collar features the American flag patch which was added after 9-11. Lower left front tail provides sweat-softened tagging that states, "Russell Athletic Authentic Collection, 100% Polyester 48, 2001."
The experts at MEARS swoon over the garment, confirming 100% originality and solid, consistent game wear. A 9/10 silver sharpie signature and inscription, all in Ichi's hand, reads "Ichiro Suzuki #51, 01 ROY/MVP, 116 Wins, 01 GU." A Cooperstown-quality garment sure to spawn an international bidding war. LOA from MEARS, A10. LOA from Heritage Auctions. COA from Mill Creek signed by Ichiro Suzuki.
Guide Value or Estimate: $30,000 - up.
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