May 3, 2005


Ichiro climbs high to deny: Spider-Man impersonation Mariners' only highlight (JON PAUL MOROSI, 5/03/05, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER)

Make room for another keepsake in your "Many Wonders of Ichiro" file. Your friendly neighborhood right fielder was up to more wall-scaling, gravity-cheating mischief at Safeco Field last night.

In the top of the seventh inning of the Mariners' 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, Garret Anderson clubbed a certain homer to right field. It looked much too high and much too far to be caught. But Ichiro raced back, anyway. He leaped on the track, dug his cleat into the "s" of the Washington Mutual sign and executed a sort of jump-crawl that vaulted him up the wall and over the rail.

He may have misjudged the ball ever so slightly (yeah, right) but nimbly reached back and stabbed the ball at his apex.

He hopped down from his perch as 24,184 witnesses rubbed their eyes. And roared.

They roared again at the replay, evidence that only served to make things that much more remarkable.

"I imagined the ball to be (hit) a little farther than it was," Ichiro said through interpreter Allen Turner. "When I got up there, it looked like a basketball.

"I've imagined it so many times."

One wonders if the play looked this electric, even in the mind's eye of this baseball genius. For a man who makes the amazing look routine, this was sublime.

Otis Nixon made a similar catch at Fulton County once where his feet had to be six feet above the ground when the ball hit his mitt.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 3, 2005 8:02 AM

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Q: What do ninjas do when they're not cutting off heads or flipping out?
A: Most of their free time is spent flying, but sometime they stab, or play baseball.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at May 3, 2005 1:38 PM

Ichiro is so good, it's like watching Gale Sayers. Whatever the heck that means...

Posted by: b at May 3, 2005 2:26 PM

I was thinking of the Otis Nixon catch and then saw your comment. That was brillant as well.

Posted by: John Thacker at May 3, 2005 2:43 PM

I remember Frank Robinson going two rows deep into the right field stands to take a game-winning home run away from the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth inning back in 1966 -- of course, back then the right field wall at Yankee Stadium was only three feet high, but when he caught it, only his feet were still on the field side of the wall.

Posted by: John at May 3, 2005 2:46 PM

But why would the Japanese evolve baseball skills?

Posted by: David Cohen at May 3, 2005 2:57 PM

I believe Nixon's grab was off Andy Van Slyke - I had heard about the catch, but did not see it until I saw some highlight show on a TV in a Kroger's in Atlanta.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 3, 2005 3:00 PM

No one ever got the Gale Sayers reference did they?

Posted by: oj at May 3, 2005 3:03 PM


Industrial melanism?

Posted by: oj at May 3, 2005 3:03 PM

One thing today's game does not have a lot of is good arms in the outfield. It is exciting to watch Ichiro and Torii Hunter rob home runs, but Dwight Evans roping guys at third from the foul pole, that was baseball.

Posted by: joe shropshire at May 3, 2005 5:26 PM

Jose Guillen, Vlad Guerrero, Mark Kotsay, there are plenty.

Posted by: oj at May 3, 2005 5:30 PM

Son of a ...., you're right. All I came up with was Guerrero and Raoul Mondesi (yecch.)

Posted by: joe shropshire at May 3, 2005 6:13 PM

And Ichiro! has started his share of double-plays, too. Often they won't even try to take third on him.

I saw that play on the tube last night. It looked like yet another two-run homer, and so it was amazing to see him run up that wall. He's made several attempts at catches like this in the past, (including standing on the railing in foul territory) and come close, so this isn't really surprising. What's surprising is that he hasn't put himself on the DL in the process.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 3, 2005 6:44 PM