Ichiro sends thanks to 'Ichimeter' creator

11/20/2012 4:51 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Ichiro Suzuki patrolled the outfield at Seattle’s Safeco Field for more than a decade, and for two-thirds of that time he was flanked by the “Ichimeter,” a countdown started by Mariners fan Amy Franz in 2004 when Suzuki was chasing George Sisler’s single-season hits record.

On Tuesday, Franz got a little something for her dedication: a bat and pair of cleats autographed by Ichiro himself.

Franz Tweeted a photo of her surprise gift Tuesday morning, showing off the memorabilia with Tweet that read, “OMG! I just got a package from former @Mariners Ichiro! Almost passed out in the middle of the living room!”

Included in the package was a note from the outfielder, which Franz also Tweeted a picture of, reading: “Dear Amy: Thank you for your loyal support during my career in Seattle. Your unique and faithful way of cheering was a constant inspiration to me. Although the color of my spikes have now changed, I would appreciate your keeping a pair from my Mariners’ years. Best, Ichiro.”

The original “Ichimeter” was sent to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., after Ichiro broke Sisler’s record; a new version counting his career hits remained in the stands until Suzuki was traded to the Yankees in July, and it now lives on in the form of a Facebook page.

It's likely only a matter of time before Ichiro joins his meter in Cooperstown, and Franz has said that no matter where Ichiro plays, she will continue tracking his hits on the Ichimeter in 2013 and beyond.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES comments