In 2007, Ichiro Suzuki was asked how many home runs he could hit if he tried to swing for power alone. The two-time batting champion, who up to that point was averaging about 10 home runs per year in MLB, responded with one shocking figure:
“If I was allowed to hit .220, I could probably hit 40.”
He never tried, as he only topped the 10 home run mark once from 2007 to 2019. Occasionally during batting practice, fans would see Ichiro crank the ball over the wall, but that never happened in games. This estimate of quadrupling his average must have been exaggerated.
Or was it?
At the age of 50, Ichiro hit a home run that broke a high school window in Japan. According to MLB.com, the thing traveled 426 feet, and Ichiro responded positively. Video below:
Ichiro 😬😂 pic.twitter.com/PVHciOzGFI
– Codify (@CodifyBaseball) November 6, 2023
Ichiro was doing basic exercises with students from Asahikawa Higashi High School in Hokkaido, Japan when he went to the yard. According to MLB.com, he hit about 63 shots and twice cleared a 26-foot-high net around the building.
Ichiro led the league in total hits seven times and holds two of the top 10 records for hits in a single season – including No. 1 overall with 262 in 2004 – but even in his prime, fans couldn’t do that experience. A 26-foot wall wasn’t enough to stop his ball from traveling well over 400 feet.