All eyes were on Mariners legend Ichiro Suzuki playing in his home country Wednesday, as more than 47,000 fans gave him a hero's welcome during the Major League Baseball season opener between Seattle and the Oakland A's. In his last at-bat, he came up with two outs, a runner on second and a tie score in the eighth. The buzz from the sellout crowd of 45,000 diminished after his exit.
-Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson could miss time with a hand injury sustained in the finale of a two-game series in Japan against the Mariners.
There's nothing like baseball.
Ichiro is one of seven players in Major League Baseball history with at least 3,000 hits and 500 stolen bases.
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The 10-times All-Star set MLB's record for hits in a single season with 262 in 2004. Her is hit No. 4,000 vs. the Toronto Blue Jays on August 21, 2013.
Ichiro received hugs from his teammates, including Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., once he reached the dugout.
I was the last person in line before Ichiro entered the dugout and that gave me a chance to say thank you to one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game, and not just thank you for the autograph but thank you for everything. I saw Ichiro chat with teammates as expected, but then I saw him help and teach.
"Seven years ago it appeared he had played for the last time in Japan", Fumihiro Fujisawa, head of the Japanese Association of Baseball Research, told The Associated Press. In the four games, he went 6-for-19 (.353) m including a four-hit game to start the season.
Ichiro has been swarmed over in games in Japan.
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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.
Beckham got three hits and three times.
He finished his career going 0-for-4 at the plate before being pulled to start the bottom of the eighth inning.
Baseball purists can argue over whether or not Ichiro's hits from Japan should "count" all they want, it doesn't make this moment any less impressive. Media outlets had been speculating about whether he will be benched on March 28 at the United States opening game. As part of a Japanese spring training tour in 1999, Ichiro and other players - and the media horde that followed - joined camp, setting the stage for his posting and eventual signing with Seattle.
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