If it wasn't stunning enough to have parents of an MLB player opening a museum in their son's honor, the depth and variety of memorabilia found in the "Ichiro Exhibition Room" in Japan is simply staggering.
Would you believe the eye-popping collection includes the training sweatsuit and undershirt Ichiro wore during his high school career? Or the desk where Ichiro used to do his homework when he was in elementary school?
The usual assortment of baseball trophies, such as his Gold Gloves from the Japanese league and MLB, are on display, but this museum, which is located in Ichiro's hometown of Toyoyama, Japan, takes personal artifacts to a different level.
Yoshie Suzuki and her husband, Nobuyuki, run the museum located just outside of Nagoya. With the Mariners in Japan for some exhibition games as well as the season-opener against the A's,Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times visited the museum, which is on a residential street close to the house where Ichiro grew up. It includes more than 2,000 Ichiro-related items.
Ichiro's father built the museum, which opened in 2002, and charges 900 yen ($11) to visit. The Seattle Times reports that they're lucky to get 10 visitors most weekdays, but had close to 30 per day last weekend.
No photographs inside the exhibition room are allowed.
In case you can't make the 4,910-mile trip from Seattle's Boeing Field to the Central Japan International Airport in Nagoya, here are other of the stranger Ichiro-related items:
Ichiro Museum Memorabilia:
• Silver Kamakiri, the bicycle Ichiro rode to high school.
• Transformer dolls and the Bruce Lee action figures Ichiro used to collect.
• Ultraman clock, Ichiro loved the cartoon superhero.
• Tiny alloy action figures Ichiro played with as child.
• Autographed basketball from Patrick Ewing and shoes from Michael Jordan.
• Snoop Dogg poster autographed.
• Photo of Ichiro pony riding on a sixth-grade field trip with his father.
• Photo of 1-month-old Ichiro Suzuki being held by his grandmother.
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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