Ichiro to announce his retirement

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He had 3,089 hits over a 19-year career in the big leagues after having 1,278 while starring in Japan. In his final at-bat, he grounded out to shortstop.

The 45-year-old called it quits for the Seattle Mariners after an emotional two-game series against the Oakland Athletics in front of adoring Japanese fans that capped an Major League Baseball career stretching back to 2001.

After the game, Ichiro received more handshakes and hugs from teammates.

Kikuchi later took a full minute to compose himself before responding about Ichiro's impact. In his rookie season of 2001, he threw a frozen rope to nail Oakland's Terrence Long trying to go from first to third on a base hit.

For all of the great hitters in Major League Baseball history, none of them could touch George Sisler's record of 257 hit mark set in 1920. And Ichiro was definitely going to come through. Suzuki hit.205 in 44 at-bats and all nine of his hits last season were singles. In 2004, he did just that, passing Sisler on October 1.

All of them got their chance after Suzuki smashed the stereotypes that surrounded Japanese hitters.

This might actually be the greatest catch of all-time.

To this point, Ichiro has remained steadfast that this isn't a marketing ploy or retirement party - he has stated he wants to continue to play.

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He was 0 for 1 with a walk and a popout in the 9-7 win over the A's on Wednesday. Pete Rose, Tony Gwynn, Rod Carew, not one of them could reach that mark. Walk-off homers were a rarity off the Yankees legend.

The conclusion to Suzuki's career was speculated about since the games in Japan were announced last season. After taking his position in right field, Mariners manager Scott Servais pulled Ichiro to the delight of a raucous, sellout crowd that responded with an extended ovation as the worst-kept secret in the building was confirmed.

Ichiro made ten straight All-Star games, won ten straight Gold Gloves, three Silver Slugger awards, and two batting titles: one of which rewarded his blistering.372 average in 2004.

Speaking of Ichiro's speed and All-Star Games, his first trip to the midsummer classic had another memorable moment created by his feet.

NOTE: The Mariners beat the A's 5-4 in 12 innings. Tim Beckham, the go-ahead run, was stranded on second base.

He played the majority of career for the Seattle Mariners, and also had late-career stints with the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins. The Seattle Mariners star was one of baseball's best players for more than a decade. In just the second game of the season, he went over the wall in left field to rob Cleveland's Jose Ramirez of a home run.

Ichiro Suzuki ended his time on the baseball field in the country where his legendary career began.

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