Ichiro's legendary, unforgettable career ends on weak groundout in Tokyo

Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki waves to fans after the game against the Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the US and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball.

The two games this year mark Ichiro's 28th season as a top tier professional baseball player in the United States and Japan.

Here's Ichiro on his retirement from baseball, "I have achieved so many of my dreams in baseball, both in my career in Japan and, since 2001, in Major League Baseball".

Los Angeles Angels superstar Albert Pujols, who made his MLB debut the same day as Ichiro in 2001 and is also considered a sure thing to enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot, recently talked about Suzuki's impact.

It was June of 2007 and the Mariners were in the middle of a 10-game road trip from San Diego to Chicago and eventually on to Houston.

Ichiro spent 11 seasons with the Mariners before being dealt at the 2012 deadline to the New York Yankees.

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The 2019 MLB season officially opened on Thursday in Tokyo, and with it came the end of one of baseball's most remarkable careers.

The team signed him last spring out of desperation - a rash of injuries to outfield regulars meant Ichiro was actually needed to begin the season in the starting lineup. He did not say if he would start the game or come off the bench. Suzuki hit.205 in 44 at-bats and all nine of his hits last season were singles.

After the game, Ichiro received more handshakes and hugs from teammates. The 21-year-old was in the mix for a rotation spot. Cameras and flashes followed his every move.

So far in Thursday's game he has popped out, grounded out and struck out in his three plate appearances. He took his place in the outfield for the bottom of the fourth inning and was pulled from the game.

Hundreds wore Ichiro jerseys - of different eras and colours - emblazoned with No. 51, and a military band played a Sousa march in the pregame ceremonies. If they did, Ichiro would be hitting.065. The countdown now is for his induction into Cooperstown.

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