One of baseball’s major league baseball’s most illustrious players said goodbye to the diamond yesterday.
Ichiro Suzuki, one of the most prolific hitters in the history of baseball, retired on Thursday as his fellow Seattle Mariners cried and hugged him with a capacity cheering crowd in a Tokyo stadium.
Suzuki, 45, made the announcement after playing for the Mariners in the second game of their Major League Baseball opening series in Japan against the Oakland Athletics.
“I have achieved so many of my dreams in baseball, both in my career in Japan and, since 2001, in Major League Baseball,” he said. “I am honored to end my big league career where it started, with Seattle, and think it is fitting that my last games as a professional were played in my home country of Japan”
The 10-times All-Star set MLB’s record for hits in a single season with 262 in 2004. Suzuki also has 3,089 hits in the U.S. major leagues and 1,278 in Nippon Professional Baseball; the most ever at the top professional level.