The 2019 MLB season officially opened on Thursday in Tokyo, and with it came the end of one of baseball’s most remarkable careers. Ichiro Suzuki, back with the Seattle Mariners one more time at 45 years old, officially retired following Seattle’s 5-4 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Ichiro hanging them up this season wasn’t unexpected, but the timing was. Reports circulated during the game — held as part of the league’s Opening Series at the Tokyo Dome in Japan — that Suzuki would retire after the game. One of the greatest hitters in Major League history, a man who has far more hits that Pete Rose if you count professional play in Japan, was finally hanging it up.
Ichiro, who went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his final Major League game, was substituted out of the game in the eighth inning. Mariners manager Scott Servais had the team take the field for the bottom of the inning before pulling all his players except Ichiro from the field. He then soaked up a massive ovation as he left the field for the final time, hugging teammates one by one as he officially called it quits.