Ichiro Suzuki reportedly played the final Major League Baseball game of his Hall-of-Fame-worthy career Thursday.
The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics opened the 2019 MLB regular season with a two-game series in Ichiro’s native Japan beginning Wednesday.
The 45-year-old started both games of the series and was met with boisterous applause and from the crowd as his historic big league career came to a close. The future Hall of Famer was taken out of his final game in the bottom of the eighth inning of an eventual 12-inning Mariner victory to an enormous ovation and curtain call.
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. Yusei Kikuchi, who also is from Japan and played in the Nippon Professional League, made his MLB debut Thursday and was brought to tears as the 2001 American League MVP said goodbye.
Ichiro spent the first nine years of his professional baseball career in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan before coming over to the United States where he had a brilliant 19-season career primarily with Seattle. He also making stops with the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins along the way.
Ichiro retires from baseball as one of the most successful players to ever take the diamond. He’s a 10-time All-Star, 2001 MVP10-time Gold Glove winner and three-time Silver Slugger to go along with an astounding .311 batting average and 3,089 hits. Ichiro is one of just three players in professional baseball history (Ty Cobb, Pete Rose being the others) to record over 4,000 hits throughout his career with 1,278 in the Nippon League to go along with his MLB numbers for a total of 4,367 hits.