Ichiro Announces Retirement From MLB

Ichiro announced his retirement from MLB after Thursday's game in Tokyo vs. the Oakland A's. 
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Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki announced his retirement from baseball on Thursday after 18 plus MLB seasons.

Kyodo News was the first to report on Ichiro's plan to retire.

The 45-year-old finishes his career with a career .311 batting average, with 3,089 hits, 117 home runs and 780 RBI with the Mariners, New York Yankees and Miami Marlins.

He also stole 509 bases and was a 10-time Gold Glove winner and 10-time All-Star.

"I have achieved so many of my dreams in baseball," Ichiro said, "both in my career in Japan and, since 2001, in Major League Baseball. I am honored to end my big league career where it started, with Seattle, and think it is fitting that my last games as a professional were played in my home country of Japan. I want to thank not only the Mariners, but the Yankees and Marlins, for the opportunity to play in MLB, and I want to thank the fans in both the U.S. and Japan for all the support they have always given me."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman congratulated Ichiro on his remarkable career.

"Ichiro Suzuki is one of the greatest baseball players the world has ever seen," he said. "He has been married to this game for virtually his entire life–refining and perfecting his craft–and the relationship has been a beautiful one. As an organization we are fortunate to call Ichiro one of our own, and we congratulate him on a truly astonishing career."

Ichiro got the starting nod in both games in Tokyo against the Oakland Athletics, going 0-for-1 with a walk before leaving in the bottom of the fourth in Seattle's 9-7 Opening Night victory.

In Thursday's game, he popped out, grounded out twice and struck out in his four plate appearances before being taken out in the eighth inning to a standing ovation from the sellout Tokyo Dome crowd. Seattle won the game 5-4 in 12 innings.

Ichiro joined the Mariners in 2001 after playing over 1,200 games in Japan.

He made an immediate impact on Seattle, batting .350 with 242 hits and 56 stolen bases, winning both the American League Rookie of the Year award and Most Valuable Player award.

In that 2001 season, the Mariners won an American League record 116 games, but lost in the ALCS to the Yankees. Seattle has not been back to the postseason since.