[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Trump’s Happy Easter Message (At The End)!

Vermont’s Republican Governor to Sign Bill Abolishing Columbus Day

Group of Armed Mexican Soldiers Disarm, Detain US Soldiers on Texas Side of Border

FBI arrests leader of armed group stopping migrants in New Mexico

EASTER MASSACRE Sri Lanka Easter bombings – Brits among 156 killed and 400 injured in Easter Sunday terror attacks on eight churches and hotels

There's now a version of the Bible that uses only Bitmoji

Mayor Pete Says Americans “Don’t Want the Conservative Agenda”

Why Bernie Sanders Can Defeat Donald Trump in 2020

Trump seethes over Mueller report, Democrat demands impeachment

‘I Am Sickened (Sickening) ’: Romney Blasts Trump in Scathing Reaction to Mueller Report

Kentucky BBQ restaurant slammed for 'LGBTQ' shirts deemed offensive

Two Fox Hosts End Interviews When Guests Bring Up Pattern of Church Fires in France


The End of Cathedral Culture

U.S. Intelligence Institutionally Politicized Toward Democrats(Tell us something we don't know!)

Man with gas cans arrested at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York

FOIA Request Confirms Zero Standard Capacity Magazines Turned In to NJ State Police

Republicans’ Love of Healthcare Socialism

NASA Creates Movie Parody Posters Featuring Its ISS Expedition Astronauts (No, really.)

16th Amendment As Written: No Tax On Wages Or Salaries

Investigative Reporter Laura Loomer Announces Plans For 2020 Congressional Run

Assange Dumps All Wikileaks Files As Stated During Arrest – Here They Are!

20 Years an Atheist: Why I Turned ("Easier To Be God-Less"; War in the Comments Section Rages)

Bill Weld officially announces he is challenging Trump for GOP nomination in 2020

Robert De Niro Thinks Mocking Trump on SNL is his “Civic Duty”

Buttigieg: ‘Most Americans Don’t Want the Conservative Agenda’

Catholic CT freak Bill Donohue booted off Neil Cavuto show - Notre Dame fire

Cops Promise to Rob or Arrest Citizens Unless They Buy an Arbitrary Sticker

How Many Muslims Won Political Office The Numbers May Surprise You!...................WAKE-UP AMERICA!!

If Trump is So Worried About ‘Fake News’ Why is He Prosecuting WikiLeaks—Who’s Been 100% Right

Alabama Cops Raided Their House, Seized Their Cash, and Ruined Their Lives Over $50 of Marijuana

Sheriff’s Department Definitely Needs a Mine-Resistant Vehicle for All Those Mines in Tennessee

Groupthink and Why They NEED to Censor Us

Pregnant victim randomly attacked ... by group of teen - thug - apers --- speaks out

Pentagon Warns "Next Major Conflict Maybe Won Or Lost In Space"

Can You Believe YouTube Caused the Rise in Flat-Earthers? (*MSM and PTB Institutions Panicking That Truth Is Leaking Like A Sieve On YT*)

There are more Godless Americans than Christians

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the hottest thing in politics. Can it last?

The Washington Establishment Seems Pretty Happy About Julian Assange's Arrest

High School Suspends 2 Students for Posting Gun Range Photos on Snapchat, ACLU Files Suit

Congress - media have studiously avoided hearing - reading - learning anything ... that might obtrude upon --- their orange-man-bad mindset

Yikes: New 36-count Avenatti indictment alleges embezzlement of disabled client’s settlement [335 years]

NY Post to Omar: “What a way to describe the heinous surprise attack on America that claimed 3,000 lives”

Dog Makes Pizza!

Honk Honk clown drama ends with James Woods posting New Zealand shooting meme

Assange arrested betrayed by Ecuador

Cops Invaded an Innocent Alzheimer’s Patient’s Home, Broke His Neck and Killed Him

Ancestry Websites Giving FBI Access to DNA Data; DHS Rolling Out Rapid DNA Nationwide

Prosecutors Charge Man for Abandoning Pet Fish Before Realizing That Isn't Illegal

DHS Releases Nearly 8,000 Border Crossers, Illegal Aliens in One Week

Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

United States News
See other United States News Articles

Title: Ichiro retires after emotional finale in Tokyo (There *is* Crying in Baseball)
Source: TMLB
URL Source: https://www.mlb.com/news/ichiro-in-lineup-for-opening-series-finale
Published: Mar 21, 2019
Author: Greg Johns
Post Date: 2019-03-22 11:32:16 by Deckard
Ping List: *Baseball*     Subscribe to *Baseball*
Keywords: None
Views: 59
Comments: 1

TOKYO -- For a man who never wanted to quit playing baseball, there can be no perfect ending. But Ichiro Suzuki might have come as close as possible to finding the right exit to a brilliant career when he announced Thursday that he's retiring from the game after playing one last time with the Mariners in a 5-4, 12-inning win vs. the A's in his home country of Japan.

The 45-year-old gathered himself for a final hurrah in front of a sold-out Tokyo Dome crowd that cheered his every move and then bid farewell to baseball and his Japanese fans in a touching tribute that brought goosebumps to an entire nation and tears to the 45-year-old's eyes.

"For me, it doesn't get better than tonight," Ichiro said through translator Allen Turner, surrounded by teammates as he did an impromptu press conference in the bullpen adjacent to the team's clubhouse in the Tokyo Dome. "Nothing can top what happened tonight for me.

"It's tough when you feel something and you're happy and you always look back and say that was some happy moments. But tonight, it doesn't get better than this. There's no more happiness than this here tonight."

Mariners manager Scott Servais sent the legendary right fielder out to his position in the bottom of the eighth inning of the Opening Series finale, then pulled the rest of his defenders off the field to allow Ichiro to come off on his own as he was replaced by rookie Braden Bishop.

Ichiro tapped his chest and waved repeatedly to the crowd, then hugged his teammates one by one before eventually being swarmed up in the arms of Hall of Fame friend Ken Griffey Jr.

"It was fun. It was awesome," Griffey said. "He had a chance to play in his home country where they've seen him grow up. This is what baseball is about."

Ichiro went 0-for-4 in his finale as 46,451 fans held their breath, hoping for a storybook finish. But Ichiro made several nice running catches in right field and this is a man whose story has long been written as he's etched himself into the record books while racking up more hits than anybody in history over 18 seasons in the Majors and nine in Japan.

"The whole world was willing everything that he did," said third baseman Ryon Healy. "But his career is bigger than a base hit. All of it is surreal."

20 incredible facts about Ichiro's career

While his teammates hustled to board a flight back to Seattle following Thursday's game, Ichiro was addressing the massive group of Japanese journalists who've followed his career and preparing for the next phase of life.

NTV calls Ichiro's exit

"Every moment I've witnessed this last couple years has been surreal," said Healy, who helped send Ichiro out on a winning note as he homered and doubled with two RBIs. "I don't think it's something that will sink in for a lot of years, just how special all these little moments are. It's unbelievable to be a part of this."

The man who went by one name wound up with 4,367 hits across two leagues. He'd had the most hits of any active Major Leaguer with 3,089 in his 19 seasons in MLB and figures to be a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible in 2025, a process he delayed a full year by choosing to play in the two regular-season games in Japan.

Ichiro's final MLB at-bat

Though he made more than $167 million over his MLB career, at the end he was clearly playing for the love of the game, as he signed a Minor League deal with Seattle this season for $750,000 after earning $2 million in each of the previous two years.

Ichiro kept saying he hoped to keep playing past the two-game Opening Series in Japan. He often quipped that he wanted, in fact, to keep playing until he was 50 or beyond. But reality can be harsh in professional sports, and he hit just .064 (2-for-31) this spring while striking out 10 times.

Gordon tears up at Ichiro exit

Ichiro said he knew when he struggled this spring that his career would end with the Japan trip, but it was still going to take some time to sink in.

"I'm going to work out tomorrow," he said with a smile. "I don't think I'm going to spend some time on the couch, but I'll continue to do what I do."

His future plans remain vague, though he said if he "can share what he's learned with kids or Major League players, if I can be of any help, that's what I'd like to do."

And while he occasionally summoned reminders of the greatness that had been -- unleashing an eye-popping throw from right field and making a nice running catch at the wall -- during the two exhibition games against the Yomiuri Giants earlier this week, those moments weren't enough to eclipse the reality that even the greatest can't compete with youngsters half their age forever.

The Tokyo Dome fans seemingly willed Ichiro to get one last hit this week, roaring in appreciation as he stepped to the plate before growing agonizingly quiet during each at-bat, with thousands of smartphones poised to capture one last magical moment.

Ichiro's running grab in RF

But for Ichiro to finish up back in Japan, where his career started with nine seasons with the Orix Blue Wave, seemed magical on its own.

"You just walk around Tokyo and see the ads that look like they've been up for decades," Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "You see younger Ichiro in ads, you see older Ichiro in ads and just about everything in between. He's the most accomplished baseball player in the history of Japan, all due respect to Sadaharu Oh and some of the other greats that have played here, because there have been many.

Ichiro signs autographs pregame

"But to do what he did, not just in this league but in MLB, and as big as he's been on the marketing front worldwide, it's not just a baseball career. He's a baseball personality. He's become a worldwide celebrity."

Ichiro finishes with 10 All-Star Game selections and 10 Gold Glove Awards to his name, all earned with Seattle in his first stint with the Mariners after signing as a 27-year-old in 2001. He captured the American League MVP and Rookie of the Year Awards that season, helping Seattle win 116 games while batting .350 with 56 stolen bases and 242 hits.

Ichiro broke George Sisler's single-season hit record with 262 hits in 2004 while batting a career-high .372, and he retires with an impressive slash line of .311/.355/.402 along with two AL batting titles and the 23rd most hits of any player in MLB history despite not coming to the U.S. until he was 27.

Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton issued the following statement:

"For the last two decades, Ichiro has been an integral part of the Seattle Mariners organization. That has not changed with today's announcement. He will remain a key member of our Mariners family.

First & Last: Ichiro's hits

"Ichiro was a trailblazer when he arrived in 2001 and ushered in a new era for international players with his impact, and he demonstrated daily the skill, passion and preparation that only the truly great have over his playing career. We appreciate all that he has done for the Mariners, and for Major League Baseball, on the field. Personally, I deeply appreciate the advice and insights he has offered me in the last year.

"Ichiro will continue to have an impactful role with Seattle. And now, we look forward to all that he can bring to the Mariners, and Major League Baseball, off the field. He will always be a Mariner."

Ichiro became an icon in his home country as the first Japanese position player to not only play in the Majors, but to become a star on the foreign stage. His exploits were chronicled daily by a group of Japanese journalists that followed him from Seattle and then New York and Miami and finally back to Seattle again as his circle came full.

And now he'll begin a new chapter, one that he didn't seem quite ready to write until he had a chance to say goodbye on his own terms, on his own stage, and in his own country once more.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Poster Comment:

Videos available at the link. (8 images)

Subscribe to *Baseball*

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  

TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

#1. To: Deckard, redleghunter, CZ82 (#0)

I thought I saw Ichiro in the dugout, his eyes wet.

Nice gesture and honor by Seattle in Japan to actually play the guy in a real game. He had great spirit and passion for the game. Played it the way it should be played -- with great dignity. Part-sentimental, part-business of course.

I liked Ichiro. He was a lion his first 4-5 years. However, the fall off was precipitous. During the last half of Ichiro's career he was often overpowered at the plate, and simply was not very productive; a punch & judy hitter with no extra base hit power. His RBI totals even during his best years were abysmal. Despite perennially with 200 hits, 50 walks, he somehow struggled to score 100 runs.

I thought the Yankees' Hideki Matsui was far more productive the Japanese import.

Liberator  posted on  2019-03-22   12:05:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com