I was going to just add this as a comment to Matthew’s Y2010M! Ichiro! post, but decided this really needs attention, and thus requires a separate post. First off, watching Ichiro hit is a joy, and I have probably seen most of his 2,030 major league hits over his 9 years with Seattle. But in Japan, where Ichiro is a God, people take Ichiro hit watching to another level.
Realizing how much Japan loves Ichiro, a broadcast was shown in his native county from midnight to 6 am on New Year’s Day, and the show played all 2,030 hits of Ichiro’s career, one after another, for the full 6 hours. An Ichiro hit marathon, and sure enough, the show was declared a ratings success. 2,030 five to eight second clips played one after the other, and people tuned in. Was this more a reflection of the Japanese and their unending love for Ichiro? Or perhaps the alcohol from New Years played a role? Probably a little of both.
Here’s what Ichiro had to say about the 6 hour hit marathon:
“I was already asleep,” Ichiro told the newspaper, laughing. “That’s the kind of attention I strive for. As a player, you have to be of the mindset that your purpose is trying to give people a compelling reason to maintain their interest in your performance every season. We’re behooved as professional baseball players to do that. The fact that I was able to fulfill that quest to the extent that one network thought it made for compelling programming makes me very happy.”