• Kyodo


Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki returned on Sunday to his old spring training stomping grounds for the first time in five years since leaving the Orix BlueWave for a career in the major leagues.

Ichiro arrived at the camp on the Okinawa Prefecture island of Miyako a little after 11 a.m. and met with his mentor and newly appointed Orix Buffaloes manager Akira Ogi before taking part in a batting practice.

The four-time major league All-Star took about 100 swings at the plate and sent 15 balls over the fence while kids yelled out “Ichiro” from the stands filled with about 1,500 people — the largest turnout ever for Orix at a spring training camp.

“I had a good practice,” said Ichiro. “There’s a nostalgic air here (on Miyako Island),” he added.

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