The future Hall of Famer is currently manning right field in what will be his final regular season appearance in Major League Baseball.
In a matter of hours, Ichiro Suzuki will step away from professional baseball. This comes as no surprise, following a year in which the 45-year-old played in just 15 games before stepping away to take an advisory role within the Mariners’ organization.
With the Mariners opening their 2019 campaign in Ichiro’s home country of Japan, however, this proposed a great opportunity for a storybook send-off. Though obvious, neither Ichiro nor Mariners upper management would acknowledge the finality of this series; but Jim Allen of Kyodo News has reported that Ichiro alerted the Mariners that he plans on retiring following today’s game against the Oakland Athletics.
In what will officially be a 19-year career (17 full seasons), Ichiro cemented himself as the greatest Japanese-born player to grace the MLB. During that time, Ichiro accumulated a career’s worth of 58.0 fWAR, earning 10 All-Star selections, 10 Gold Glove awards, three Silver Slugger awards, American League Rookie of the Year in 2001, as well as American League MVP in the same year.
Ichiro is the Mariners’ all-time leader in batting average (.322), hits (2,542), singles (2,069), triples (79), and stolen bases (438). When his time comes, Ichiro will undoubtedly be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
At the time of this article, the Mariners are currently tied with the A’s at 4-4 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Ichiro is 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Once Ichiro officially retires, we will do our part in honoring the career of one of the greatest players in Mariners’ history.