Ichiro Suzuki Announces His Retirement

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The 45-year old Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki announced his retirement Thursday Night in the Tokyo Dome after a 5-4 Mariners win over the Oakland A’s. Ichiro was pulled from the game he loves one final time in the 8th inning, which led to an emotional three minute scene inside the Tokyo Dome. As he walked in from right field, fans, teammates and opponents all saluted him, showing their appreciation for the legend one last time. By the time he reached the dugout, Ichiro was met by his Mariners teammates with hugs, including a few that were tearful, as they said goodbye to the legend.

A Look Back On Ichiro’s Career

Ichiro has long secured a place in Cooperstown, but with his retirement official, we can now appreciate his hall of fame career. He was a 10-time MLB all-star, a 10 time Gold Glove winner and collected 3,089 hits over the course of his 19-year MLB career. When you combine his 1,278 hits from his professional career in Japan, Ichiro would be the all-time hit king with 4,367.

He entered the MLB at the age of 28 and quickly cemented his place. In 2001, his rookie season, Ichiro won the Rookie of the Year and MVP as he posted a .350 batting average, 242 hits and 56 stolen bases. In 2004, Ichiro set the single season hit record with and insane 262 hits and posted an impressive .372 batting average.

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Despite never reaching a World Series, Ichiro’s popularity and impact on the game was unmatched. He brought the MLB product and popularity across the ocean to Japan and even more Japanese fans to the states to get a glimpse of their hometown hero. Ichiro garnered the respect from everyone he came across, and reciprocated that respect to the game he loved. His dedication to the game, and pure will to continue to play baseball will forever stick with me. He knew he stuck around well past his prime, but he always felt there was more to give to the game. Even in the press conference after his retirement, Ichiro said he hopes he can help the younger players by passing along his knowledge.

Sights and Sounds From Ichiro’s Final Game


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