#Shortstops: Ichiro’s Theme: A Love Letter from Seattle
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The song is a celebration of Ichiro’s hitting, fielding and speed. There is even a reference to the late announcer Dave Niehaus, another Seattle icon and the 2008 Ford C. Frick Award winner. While this song of devotion may seem overdramatic, fans’ enthusiasm and respect for Ichiro is nothing to gloss over. Rather than anger when the trade was announced, there was both sadness and understanding. Despite Ichiro’s accomplishments, the Mariners never made it to the World Series with him. The Mariners’ chief executive at the time, Howard Lincoln, explained that Ichiro “deserves a chance to play for a contending team before the end of his magnificent career. The Mariners should certainly not stand in his way.”)
Gibbard’s song demonstrates Seattle’s enduring love for Ichiro that continued even when he wasn't slapping infield singles and stealing bases for the Mariners.
Gibbard’s hand-written lyrics (which are missing the last verse) are part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection of more than three million library items.
Kelli Yakabu is the 2018 digital collections intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development