"We both know I've had good times, bad times, ups and downs, but your friendship never wavered once."
Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon paid respect to Ichiro on Thursday with a full-page ad in the Seattle Times, thanking the Seattle legend after he retired last week.
Gordon and Ichiro were teammates with the Marlins from 2015-17, coming to Seattle together for the 2018 season.
"First off, I want to say thank you for being a great friend to me and being my favorite player to this day," Gordon wrote. "People don't know how much you've helped me over these last five years, Ichi. We both know I've had good times, bad times, ups and downs, but your friendship never wavered once."
Ichiro played for Seattle last week as the Mariners faced the A's in Tokyo. The 10-time All-Star went 0-5 from the plate in two games before retiring on March 21. Ichiro and Gordon hugged as Ichiro entered the dugout to a rousing ovation in the eighth inning.
Gordon is in his ninth MLB season. He led baseball with 205 hits in 2015 and is a three-time stolen-base champion. Gordon boasts a .289 career average with 980 hits and 486 runs.
Seattle is 2–0 in 2019 after sweeping the A's in Japan. The Mariners will face the Red Sox on Thursday, with first pitch from T-Mobile Park in Seattle slated for 7:08 p.m. ET.