Ichiro retires: Baseball legend bids farewell in Tokyo

Ichiro walks off into history before packed Tokyo Dome crowd

Ichiro Suzuki retires to ovation after sparkling 27-year baseball career

Ichiro received a standing ovation from the crowd and hugs from his Seattle teammates.

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the US and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball.

Ichiro is retiring. That might not be much of a surprise for your typical 37-year-old player or 40-year-old player or 43-year-old player, much less the 45-year-old player he is now.

Ichiro's 3,089 career Major League Baseball hits along with his 1,278 hits in Japan give him more career hits than the current Major League Baseball hits leader Pete Rose.

"I understand everybody wants to see him go all nine innings". "Ichiro told us it is a gift to play here".

Now, Ichiro will likely take on a different role with the organization, even though his playing days are officially over. In batting practice, fans in that same spot wore shirts saying "Ichiro is Life" and "I believe 3,090". Butterflies in my heart in my chest and I spoken with him with excitement. Because Seattle's three-game April series in Cleveland was snowed out, Major League Baseball had Ichiro's crew endure three separate return trips on off days during the season to make up the contests. He captured the minds and hearts of an entire generation of baseball fans, and inspired more than a few young baseball players to adopt one of the stranger stances in baseball history.

Suzuki, 45, announced his retirement in front of the crowd at today's Mariners-A's game in Japan.

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There was still the rest of a game to play, but his career was done.

Oh, his stock line was always that he was going to play until he was 50 - at least - but when I pressed him about that once, he said he had no doubt he would be physically able to perform at that age, and beyond.

It may not last long. Ichiro's almost maniacal devotion to his equipment - which led him to a grudge against a former Mariners coach who treated roughly the gloves Ichiro had painstakingly placed on the bench - showed he was of the same mind. Seattle opens the regular season at home March 28 against the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

He could be around, however, for two games against the San Diego Padres to end spring training in Seattle.

Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi makes his major league debut in his home country. It's his beginning and it could be Ichiro's end.

After what had seemed like Suzuki's final at-bat in the seventh inning, the Mariners put him on deck in the top of the eighth thanks to a one-out Tim Beckham double. "We are afraid of that".

"There will be certain periods in the game here when you sit back and reflect and little bit, and certainly just watch", Melvin said. What Ichiro has done is unbelievable. Sign me up. Although Rivera has a record 652 saves for his career, it was Suzuki who got the best of him on this night.

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