Ichiro Suzuki retires, capping illustrious Major League Baseball career with emotional farewell

Ichiro Suzuki retires, capping illustrious Major League Baseball career with emotional farewell

Ichiro Suzuki retires, capping illustrious Major League Baseball career with emotional farewell

Ichiro Suzuki, in his fourth pro season, blasts a homer in the top of the 10th inning October 19, 1996, at the Tokyo Dome to lift the Orix BlueWave to a 4-3 victory over the Yomiuri Giants.

Each member of the Mariners embraced the baseball legend as he ventured into the dugout, as well as including former Mariners great and 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Ken Griffey Jr.

And one sign had the clearest message of all: "We Love You Ichiro".

"The fans in Japan probably aren't used to the reception I got from my teammates, but it's not that unusual in the majors", Ichiro said.

Ichiro Suzuki was a one-of-a-kind ballplayer. Transitioning to an office role last season for the Mariners, Ichiro wanted to go out on his own terms.

With 3,089 MLB hits - credited when a batter reaches at least first base after hitting the ball - and 1,278 in the Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, his total of 4,367 is the most hits recorded at the top professional level.

"I have a very happy time playing with him", a teary-eyed Kikuchi said through an interpreter.

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The Mariners won it in the 12th when a run scored on a one-out double play ball that the Athletics failed to convert. He was such a singular talent that baseball fans watched with mouth agape as he showed a new way to play a century-old game.

"It was the greatest gift for me to be able to spend time with him". He was a 10-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove victor, known for his cannon arm in right field and his ability to hit pitches well out of the strike zone. "Since I was in third grade in primary school I took trains and buses to see ballgames", he said. I saw Ichiro chat with teammates as expected, but then I saw him help and teach.

Goldschmidt slugged 30 or more homers in four of the past six seasons with Arizona, but the Diamondbacks dealt the 31-year-old ahead of the last season of his contract, which is slated to pay him $14.5 million.

Some people may forget that before Ichiro returned to finish his career with the Mariners, he spent time with the Florida Marlins.

Ichiro became the second-oldest position player to start an opener, only trailing long time Major leaguer Julio Franco, who was a few months older when he played for the Atlanta Braves in the 2004 season opener. Roenis Elias relieved and got Matt Chapman to hit a comebacker, but first baseman Jay Bruce dropped the throw, allowing a run to score that pulled the A's within 3-2.

He would go 0-for-4 from the plate, but the bigger story was that he was about to retire in front of his home country. They'll switch back into spring training mode before the Major League Baseball campaign resumes with all 30 clubs on March 28. Seattle opens the regular season at home March 28 against the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

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