Ichiro announced his retirement Thursday in Tokyo after a 5-4 Mariners win over the A's (the same result as his first game as a member of the Mariners), not far removed from a rousing ovation as manager Scott Servais took him out of his final game for a defensive replacement.
The 45-year-old Ichiro fouled out his first time up and grounded out in his next at-bat against Oakland.
Ichiro came out in the bottom of the eighth inning to a roaring ovation at the Tokyo Dome.
Iconic Japanese superstar Ichiro Suzuki, who has more hits in professional baseball than any other Japanese player, told the Seattle Mariners he intends to retire, an informed source said Thursday. They also thought that when Ichiro played here in 2012 with the Mariners - also against the Athletics - and had four hits in one game. Fans clamored for a chance to see the real Ichiro, but often times were left wanting more as Ichiro remained very private and even guarded during his career. 10 straight seasons of 200 hits, an Major League Baseball record 262 hits in a season, multiple All-Star games and Gold Gloves. Less than two months after passing Rose in all-time professional hits, Ichiro recorded his 3,000th career Major League Baseball hit with a triple, joining Paul Molitor as the only players to record No. 3,000 on a three-bagger.
Ichiro received hugs from his teammates, including Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., once he reached the dugout.
A few days before Kikuchi's first Major League Baseball start, Ichiro said he felt the left-hander had what it takes to become an ace one day. He then teared up as he buried his head into Ichiro's shoulder. Kikuchi could be the next big star from Japan, having signed a contact in January that could be worth $109 million over seven years.
The Oakland Athletics, a team Ichiro went to battle against for the majority of his career had nothing but respect for the Mariners great. 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.
When Ichiro Suzuki signed with the Mariners in November 2000, there was plenty of public skepticism how his skills would translate to Major League Baseball.
While times got rough for the Mariners, Ichiro remained at the top of his game. He was a phenom from the moment he arrived in the United States from Japan. Ichiro came to the Mariners for the 2001 season. Roenis Elias relieved and got Matt Chapman to hit a comebacker, but first baseman Jay Bruce dropped the throw, allowing a run to score.
Mariners: Back to spring training for the M's. Media outlets had been speculating about whether he will be benched on March 28 at the USA opening game.