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Ichiro Suzuki retires from Major League Baseball during Japan series

Ichiro Suzuki played his final game for the Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki played his final game for the Seattle Mariners. Pic credit: MLB

Ichiro Suzuki just played the final game of his Major League Baseball career. The Seattle Mariners played the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, with Ichiro taking his familiar spot in right field.

He would go 0-for-4 from the plate, but the bigger story was that he was about to retire in front of his home country.

The Japan series between the Mariners and Athletics gave the team a shot to allow Ichiro two final games in front of his fans in Japan. The Tokyo Dome was packed for the two games, with many fans hoping to see one last hit from the future Hall of Fame inductee.

While that didn’t happen, he still got to take the big stage, one last time.

Next stop for Ichiro Suzuki: Cooperstown

Entering the 2019 MLB season, Ichiro Suzuki had a .311 career batting average. That included 3,089 hits, 509 stolen bases, 10-straight seasons of at least 200 hits, and a Major League record of 262 hits in the 2004 season.

Ichiro won a Rookie of the Year Award, was named the 2001 American League Most Valuable Player. He also won three Silver Slugger Awards and 10-straight Gold Glove Awards.

His stats will have Ichiro likely becoming a first-ballot inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s just a matter of time until Mariners fans get to see another great player enter Cooperstown wearing a jersey for the team.

Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez already have a spot there, as does former Mariners pitcher Randy Johnson (in an Arizona Diamondbacks uniform).

The Mariners organization made Ichiro’s exit really classy, allowing him to take the field in the two-game Japan series. In addition to the emotional response from the fans in attendance, players like Dee Gordon and Yusei Kikuchi also shed a few tears.

Now, Ichiro will likely take on a different role with the organization, even though his playing days are officially over.

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