"Mariner-mania" Hit Japan, Attendance Was Over 87,000

The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics wouldn’t be much of a draw in the States, but with Japanese legend Ichiro Suzuki on the M’s and second-generation Japanese catcher Kurt Suzuki leading the A’s, the two-game series was a rousing success. Over 87,600 fans attended the games at the Tokyo Dome over two days.

Daily Yomiuri writer John E. Gibson described the action and got some quotes from the players that lived through “Mariner-Mania!”:

“I was just happy to have the fans of Japan be able to see me here in a Seattle Mariners uniform,” said Kawasaki, who himself spoke like a fan after Suzuki’s Game 1 performance. “He [Suzuki] was incredible. He had so many hits. And he didn’t just go out and try get a bunch hits, he went out and had fun,” Kawasaki said. " It was very Ichiro-like."

“I think there’s a large Seattle Mariner fan base over here. It probably started with Ken Griffey Jr. and has been carried on by Ichiro and the other guys that have played for us from Japan,” Wedge said before his team lost 4-1 in the second game to the Athletics.

It’s certainly comforting to hear that Suzuki can still get hits when he isn’t even trying to.

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