Ichiro To Retire After Thursdays Game In Tokyo

Mar 24, 2019, 01:56
Ichiro To Retire After Thursdays Game In Tokyo

Say it ain't so, Ichiro!

Reports circulated during the game - held as part of the league's Opening Series at the Tokyo Dome in Japan - that Suzuki would retire after the game. Suzuki also has 3,089 hits in the USA major leagues and 1,278 in Nippon Professional Baseball; the most ever at the top professional level. There will never be another player like him, and there's only a matter of time before he's enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, to be forever memorialized for his impact on the game. "Since I was in third grade in primary school I took trains and buses to see ballgames", he said. He hit a slow grounder to shortstop and, still hustling the whole way, was barely thrown out at first. Facing Randy Johnson, another famous former No. 51 for the Mariners, in front of a home crowd at Safeco Field, Ichiro beat Johnson to first base on an infield single to lead off the bottom of the first inning. He strolled in, turned and waved to the crowd with all of the usually reserved Japanese fans on their feet.

Mariners manager Scott Servais said Ichiro will play Thursday, but didn't say whether he'll start.

Kikuchi later took a full minute to compose himself before responding about Ichiro's impact.

Ichiro paved the way for more players than we will ever know and his influence will be felt for generations after his career ends. Here are some of the scenes and tweets in tribute to Ichiro from his final game.

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We've seen him hit some inside the park homers but rarely have we seen an Ichiro walk-off home run.

After the game, Ichiro received more handshakes and hugs from teammates.

Ichiro's storied 27-year career ended with a dramatic exit in the eighth inning. However, because of his role as a pioneer, and because he spent several season in Japan when he could otherwise have accumulated statistics in the United States, Ichiro should have little trouble making it into Cooperstown. During the Spring Training, Suzuki has only managed two hits on 31 trips at-bat. The Japan exhibitions do not count as official games. "I have learned a great deal from him", he said. Not tonight. Not on this night. "It's just happiness. Of course, I thought about the fans in Seattle". They were incredibly passionate tonight.

But, here I am, getting started on it anyway knowing that I may have to finish it in the auto on the way to my party, which, if a bachelor party is about doing what makes me the happiest, feels perfectly fitting. Ichiro was the Rookie of the Year and the MVP, beginning his unprecedented run among baseball's elite.

Ichiro's retirement had been anticipated for a while.

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Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners waves prior to the preseason friendly game between Yomiuri Giants and Seattle Mariners at Tokyo Dome on March 18, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. 10 straight seasons of 200 hits, an Major League Baseball record 262 hits in a season, multiple All-Star games and Gold Gloves.

"He would stand in the freezing winter and watch every practice, the only guy in the stands, taking notes, refusing to sit down because his son couldn't sit down, refusing to eat or drink because his son couldn't eat or drink", Whiting told me in an interview in 2004 - the year Ichiro set the all-time season hits record with 262.

He became one of the most important figures in baseball history, and not just because of his stats and awards. Whether he wants to accept the label or not, Suzuki was a trailblazer.

The new contract adds 10 years to the final two years of his existing six-year deal signed in 2014. Previous year marked the arrival of two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani.

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