Ichiro received a heartwarming ovation when he exited the first game of the Opening Series
Ichiro is a legend in Japan. Before he joined the Mariners in 2001, he enjoyed a nine-year career oversees in which he became the first player to record over 200 hits in a season in the NPB, won seven consecutive batting titles and three straight MVP awards.
He got the start in right field on Wednesday for the first game of the Opening Series, going 0-for-1 with a walk in his second plate appearance. He took the field to start the bottom of the fourth inning, but before the inning could officially start, Mariners manager Scott Servais took him out of the game to an ovation from the fans at the Tokyo Dome. No, I'm chopping onions over here. Why do you ask?
Ichiro comes out of the game.— Cut4 (@Cut4) March 20, 2019
Pardon us, we're crying in the club rn. pic.twitter.com/09aKuLlsiQ
This likely won't be the last time Ichiro plays in the Tokyo Dome, with tomorrow's game presenting another perfect opportunity to honor him. Hopefully he receives a similar welcome or exit in what would likely be his final game in Japan.
Eric Chesterton is a writer for MLB.com. He is an appreciator of the stolen base, the bunt against the shift and nearly every unconventional uniform design. He eagerly awaits Jamie Moyer's inevitable comeback.