Ken Griffey Jr.
Baseball Hall of Fame, class of 2016
“Ichiro has had an unbelievable career. Not only in the US, but here in Japan. What he has done to cross barriers and bring countries together is unbelievable. He is one of those guys you look forward to seeing. His retirement is bittersweet, but I need another member to the Hall of Fame so I am looking forward to that. I got one this year and now I just have to wait a few more years for my other guy to get there.”
Baseball Hall of Fame, class of 2019
“Congratulations, Ichiro, for an amazing career. It’s been incredible to watch you over the years. Your discipline, your consistency and your dedication and love for the game is something for all of us to learn from. I wish you the best. I know you’re going to be in the game for a long time. I’m looking forward to congratulating you in person.”
Chairman & Managing Partner, Seattle Mariners
“For the last two decades, Ichiro has been an integral part of the Seattle Mariners organization. That has not changed with today’s announcement. He will remain a key member of our Mariners family.
Ichiro was a trailblazer when he arrived in 2001 and ushered in a new era for international players with his impact, and he demonstrated daily the skill, passion and preparation that only the truly great have over his playing career. We appreciate all that he has done for the Mariners, and for Major League Baseball, on the field. Personally, I deeply appreciate the advice and insights he has offered me in the last year.
Ichiro will continue to have an impactful role with Seattle. And now, we look forward to all that he can bring to the Mariners, and Major League Baseball, off the field. He will always be a Mariner.”
President & Chief Executive Officer, Seattle Mariners
“One of the great joys of working in baseball is the opportunity to have a front row seat to history.
My time in Seattle has provided me that opportunity. I have been able to watch Ichiro from his Rookie of the Year arrival in 2001 to now. He is, undoubtedly, a first ballot Hall of Famer, and I was privileged to get to witness his career up close.
On behalf of all Mariners fans, I want to thank him for all that he has done for our team, and for our community. And we look forward to having him remain in the Northwest and be an integral part of the Mariners organization.”
Executive Vice President & General Manager, Seattle Mariners
“My first encounter with Ichiro was as a scout in the spring of 2001, just days after my playing career ended, and weeks before his MLB journey officially began. I marveled at his combination of speed and bat control then and remain amazed today.
Many years passed before I had the opportunity to meet Ichiro upon his return to the Mariners in the spring of 2018. Over this past year I have found an even greater respect, not just for the player, but for the man. His commitment to achieving greatness and single minded focus on practicing his craft are the stuff of legend.
I look forward to a continued and long lasting relationship with Ichiro. I am certain that his presence, knowledge and passion for the game, as well as his exceptional baseball IQ will continue to impact the Mariners organization for many years to come.”
Manager, Seattle Mariners
“As a manager and as a fan of the game, I will miss having him on our active roster.
But selfishly, I am glad to know that he will be available to me during the course of the year. I truly valued our conversations last season, and the insight and perspective he was able to provide me.
Ichiro has had an unbelievable career. I consider it a great honor, and consider myself very lucky, to have been privileged to have been Ichiro’s manager.”
President, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
“From the moment he first put on a Mariners uniform 18 years ago, Ichiro graced the American game with immense professionalism, respect and passion, traits he brought with him from Japan where he won three MVP awards and seven consecutive batting titles. He played every game with grace, style and remarkable consistency; and his many achievements were of Hall of Fame caliber, in large part because of his legendary year‐round regimented daily preparation. What makes his successes profound was that they were achieved despite living in a country with a very different culture from how he was raised. He retires today as one of the game’s giants.”
Commissioner, Major League Baseball
“Today we celebrate the remarkable career of Ichiro Suzuki, one of our game’s greatest players. Since entering Major League Baseball in 2001 and winning both the American League Rookie of the Year and MVP Awards, Ichiro established himself as a player unlike any other. He will always be remembered for his incredible talent in all aspects of the game, his historic seasons playing for the Seattle Mariners and for being part of the championship‐winning Samurai Japan in the first two editions of the World Baseball Classic.
“It is fitting that Ichiro will retire as a Mariner in his home country, where he first became a star player. We are forever grateful for Ichiro’s global contributions to our game.”
Senior vice president and general manager, New York Yankees
“Ichiro Suzuki is one of the greatest baseball players the world has ever seen. He has been married to this game for virtually his entire life–refining and perfecting his craft–and the relationship has been a beautiful one. As an organization we are fortunate to call Ichiro one of our own, and we congratulate him on a truly astonishing career.”