There will be a new kind of Ichiro Suzuki card available to baseball fans this season as Starbucks, together with Major League Baseball and the Seattle Mariners, debuts a commemorative Starbucks Card featuring the All-Star right fielder for the Seattle Mariners. The Ichiro Starbucks Card will give back to the community by delivering proceeds to local children’s charities in the U.S. and Japan.

The pre-loaded Ichiro Starbucks Card will sell for $10, the face value of the card, and will be available for sale at most Starbucks stores throughout Washington State, Oregon, and Japan. For each Ichiro Starbucks Card purchased in the U.S., $2 will be donated by Starbucks and Major League Baseball to the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation. In Japan, purchase of the Ichiro Starbucks Card will result in a 200 Yen donation to children’s charities including the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Japan.

“The Ichiro Starbucks Card honors both a respected sports hero and the local community,” says Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman. “We hope customers will have fun using their commemorative Ichiro Starbucks Card, while feeling good about giving back and supporting children’s charities.”

The Ichiro Starbucks Card, which features his likeness and commemorates his single season record of 262 hits, is one in a series of unique and popular Starbucks Card designs. This marks the first time that a professional athlete is featured on a Starbucks Card. The limited edition Ichiro Starbucks Card will be available for sale online and in most Starbucks stores in Washington State, Oregon, and Japan through Sept. 30, 2005.

“The reason I have decided to support this program is that both Starbucks and myself have a strong commitment to the community and we both share the desire to support children who carry our future,” says Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners right fielder. “I want to do my best to help make this meaningful and rewarding. I ask you all to please lend us your support.”

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