Ichiro Suzuki will go down as one of baseball’s greatest players. His international impact is unrivaled, and his 4,367 professional hits is a number unmatched by any player in baseball history. And on Thursday morning, he left the field for the last time.
Playing his last series in his home country of Japan, Ichiro was taken out in the 8th inning and received a thunderous ovation from the crowd while bringing his teammates to tears.
It’s never easy when a player as universally admired as Ichiro retires, and the reactions say it all. Even he seemed to get choked up as he grabbed his bats and exited the field for the very last time after a legendary 27-year career. He captured the minds and hearts of an entire generation of baseball fans, and inspired more than a few young baseball players to adopt one of the stranger stances in baseball history.
Ichiro is a beloved figure in baseball, and his final inning received the praise and admiration that it deserved. There will never be another player like him, and there’s only a matter of time before he’s enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, to be forever memorialized for his impact on the game.
From baseball fans everywhere, thank you, Ichiro. Enjoy your well-earned retirement.