Ichiro Officially Retires, Next Stop the Hall of Fame

Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki waves to fans after the game against the Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo

Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki stretches on the field prior to Game 2 of the Major League baseball opening series between the Mariners and the Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Thursday, March 21, 2019.

In his final at-bat, he grounded out to shortstop. The Mariners won 5-4 after three extra innings.

Ichiro also started in Wednesday's game in Japan, going 0 for 1 with a walk.

Ichiro, who started in right field in both games for the Mariners this week, has 3,089 hits in the US major leagues and 1,278 in Nippon Professional Baseball. Led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., MLB now features record levels of labor peace, competitive balance and industry revenues, as well as the most comprehensive drug-testing program in American professional sports.

"I do not know well whether it is success, I cannot judge that at all".

None the least of which includes Ichiro telling reporters in 2007 that he would "punch himself in the face" if he ever lied about wanting to come here.

"If you want to do it, you should challenge".

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He took Japan by storm early in his career, winning seven consecutive batting titles during his time with the Orix BlueWave before moving to the United States in 2001.

On Wednesday, Suzuki started his 28th professional season and 19th in the majors, where he spent most of his career in Seattle and had stints with the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins.

Absolutely no one took umbrage to the idea, and perhaps this Tokyo trip - and Ichiro's role in it - was being eyed from the beginning, so it made sense that he remained around the team past year and during the offseason.

Ichiro's final go-around with the Mariners hasn't been without its charm, but also hasn't been without a few warts, either. Later, both Gordon and Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi could be seen crying during the emotional sendoff. Embarking on his 19th season this year, it appears as though Ichiro has made a decision to retire.

But, for a man who once said he thinks he would just die rather than retire, Ichiro has decided retirement is preferable. The Mariners have been in Tokyo, Japan over the last week for some exhibitions games in Suzuki's home country.

For all Mariners fans, I hope it's the former.

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