So, the time of my starting to write this is five minutes after I found out that Ichiro, of the baseball team the Seattle Mariners, was traded to the New York Yankees.
I struggle to state exactly how sad this makes me and thousands, potentially millions of fans in the Washington area. For some of you who might be unfamiliar, the Mariners are a team who had their glory days about 10 years ago, but things change fast in baseball, and they are pretty much one of the worst teams in the league. The Yankees, from a general Seattle-ite perspective, are a bunch of rich jerks (sorry) who haven't had financial problems, or performance problems, in over 100 years. Most of the people on their team are mercenaries, practically. Whenever a team with little money rises past its limited budget and finally become able to compete, the Yankees come in, eat up the new stars on that team by flashing money that the other team could never compete with, and picking them up. For any of you that have ever seen Moneyball, which is a movie that came out a year ago starring Brad Pitt, you know this.
Now a little background on Ichiro, and what he means to Seattle. I am 14 years old. So for most of my life, I have watched a team led by Ichiro. He WAS the Mariners. I would go to baseball games, only 5 years old, and my favorite part would always be chanting I-CHI-RO! I-CHI-RO!! With the 40,000 plus fans that were there. Again, he WAS the Mariners, and therefore an irrevocably important and significant figure in my childhood. So to discover today that he had left and gone to to the Yankees was like a shot in the face.
This man was 75% of my childhood
During the Mariners' dark years, only two or three people stayed with them. But Ichiro, he never left. Not when every single other star player or fan favorite went and either retired or moved to a more successful team. He stayed and had faith in a ballclub that needed a leader. I looked up to him. Just about every 9 year old kid who played baseball wanted to BE him. And some of the most fond memories I have ever had not just of basesball, but of life, have come watching his thrilling feats of athleticism, and the pride that he was a Seattle Mariner. For eleven years, this is a pride Seattle had been entitled to have. We no longer have that.
I will never forget seeing this in the stadium. There is no better feeling when he single-handedly takes your heart, which had fell into your stomach, and pull it back to functioning condition.
Some people were very moved emotionally when HuK left Team Liquid and joined EG. Some people even cried. Ichiro was very similar to this. Except that Team Liquid had many other players who were also very important to us emotionally, while except for the occasional come-and-gone stars the Mariners had nobody else like Ichiro. Not even our star pitcher, Felix Hernandez, begs the same level of worship that Ichiro earned in Seattle for being such a beacon. Also, Ichiro stayed with us for eleven years. I can not remember a Seattle Mariners without him.
http://soundcloud.com/gibbstack This song is from a voice that many of you may recognize, Ben Gibbard, lead singer of the popular band Death Cab for Cutie. It's pretty ubpeat, which is good because I think we need to support Ichiro in his decisions. But it shows how much he meant to us. And in a cruel twist of fate, tonight the Mariners play AGAINST the Yankees. So immediately after being traded, he plays against us on a team that will probably kick our ass. So before the wound has time to heal, it gets kept open.
Ichiro will never read this. But I'm sure that any Seattle Mariners fan here on TL will join me in both our sorrow and wellwishes. This is the only time that I will ever publicly say that I hope the Yankees win the World Series. Because they don't deserve it. But God knows that Ichiro does.
I realize that my poor writing skills and scattered focus fail to do this man the true justice he deserves, even on a Starcraft Forums website. So Ichiro, sorry, and good luck. ♥
Ichiro will always be missed.
PS: No offense to Yankees fans. It's just that it isnt fun when you buy up half the tickets in Seattle's stadium, and so we have to fight with you just to root for the home team T_T