Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics square off in Tokyo to mark the opening start to the 2012 baseball season.
Now, before we debate whether or not it should be considered Opening Day, ask yourself this…would you go to a museum dedicated solely to Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki?
His parents sure hope so.
Ichiro’s father, “Chichiro” (“chichi” is Japanese for “father”) opened the museum adjacent to their home in Toyoyama, Japan in November 2002 and according to everything I’ve read online…the place has everything.
“When Ichiro was a child,” museum manager Kazuya Kinoshita says through a translator, “his father told Ichiro’s mother, ‘He is going to be a great athlete. We must keep everything.’ And they just kept everything.”
Part of the nearly 3000-piece collection displays the expected…the bats, balls, gloves, caps and uniforms from Ichiro’s stardom with the Orix BlueWave in Japan to his history-making run with the Mariners.
- A slew of Ichiro’s old toys…including Bruce Lee dolls, Transformers and a model TIE fighter
- Ichiro’s old bike (complete with damage from when dude was hit by a car!)
- An autographed basketball from Patrick Ewing
- Michael Jordan’s shoes
- An autographed Snoop Dogg poster
- Ichiro’s childhood retainer
- And much, much more!
Move over Cooperstown.