It started all the way back in 1992. The start of an unprecedented 28-year-long professional baseball career for a man that would eventually become a baseball legend. That career came to an end Thursday.

We take a look back at the sure-to-be Hall of Fame career of one of baseball’s unique icons, arguably its global face for his decade-long prime in Seattle.

It started in Japan, in 1992, with the Orix BlueWave.

Ichiro Suzuki, in his fourth pro season, blasts a homer in the top of the 10th inning Oct. 19, 1996, at the Tokyo Dome to lift the Orix BlueWave to a 4-3 victory over the Yomiuri Giants. He earned his third consecutive Pacific League MVP, batting .356 with 16 home runs, 104 runs scored and 84 driven in, solidifying the star power he was about to bring to the States. (Koji Sasahara / The Associated Press)
Ichiro Suzuki, in his fourth pro season, blasts a homer in the top of the 10th inning Oct. 19, 1996, at the Tokyo Dome to lift the Orix BlueWave to a 4-3 victory over the Yomiuri Giants. He earned his third consecutive Pacific League MVP, batting .356 with 16 home runs, 104 runs scored and 84 driven in, solidifying the star power he was about to bring to the States. (Koji Sasahara / The Associated Press)

Before he was a Seattle Mariner, Ichiro was already training with them. 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. We’ll let the photos tell the story from here out:

A large contingent of Japanese media are following Ichiro Suzuki, known simply as Ichiro, the 25 -year-old outfielder who is clearly the premier player in Japanese baseball. (Harley Soltes / The Seattle Times)
A large contingent of Japanese media are following Ichiro Suzuki, known simply as Ichiro, the 25 -year-old outfielder who is clearly the premier player in Japanese baseball. (Harley Soltes / The Seattle Times)

2001: The arrival

2004: The hit record — 262

2005-11: Twilight years

2012-17: Gone, but not for long — 3,000th hit

2018-19: The return, and the farewell

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