Baseball Icon Ichiro Retires after Game in Tokyo


Tokyo, March 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese baseball superstar Ichiro Suzuki announced retirement on Thursday, ending an illustrious career in which he displayed his batting prowess to accumulate a combined 4,367 hits in Japan and the United States.

"I'm putting an end to my career as a player after today's game," Suzuki, 45, said at a news conference after he played in the starting lineup for the Seattle Mariners in a two-game season-opening series against the Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome.

"I'm happy that I greeted this day in this uniform at the end," said Suzuki in a Mariners uniform.

In Thursday's game, Suzuki ran to his position in right field in the eighth, then was pulled out of the game and walked back to the dugout waving to chants of "Ichiro, Ichiro" from adoring fans. In front of the dugout, he was received by his teammates with hugs.

After the game, he made a circuit of the ballpark's field and acknowledge the cheers of fans.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press