- at times
- packed crowd
- 満員の観客（後出 sellout crowd も同意）
- signal to ～
- 引退する（後出 step away もここでは同意）
- go 0 for 4
- throw out
- look back on ～
- ～を振り返る（後出 reflect on ～もここでは同意）
- 外野手（後出 position player と写真説明の fielder は野手）
- Hall of Fame
- People's Honor Award
At times, it seemed as if he'd go on hitting forever. But on the evening of March 21, a player who embodied baseball at its very best in two countries for a generation, took his final swing.
Suzuki Ichiro, 45, left the Tokyo Dome field in the eighth inning, waving goodbye to the packed crowd amid hugs from Seattle Mariners teammates in a three-minute walk that signaled to all that his monumental run was over.
"I have ended my career and decided to retire," Ichiro said, speaking in Japanese at a news conference after the game. He added that he had decided to step away from baseball before arriving in Japan. "After the reception I got today, how could I possibly have any regrets?" he told reporters.
Ichiro went 0 for 4 in his farewell. In his last at-bat, he hit a slow grounder to shortstop and was barely thrown out at first.
He took his position in right field in the eighth, then was pulled by manager Scott Servais. Ichiro was showered with cheers while taking his final bow in front of a sellout crowd of 45,000.
"When I look back on my career, I know I will remember today as the most memorable day, without a doubt," Ichiro said.
Ichiro made his debut in Japan's Pacific League in 1992 with the Orix BlueWave, playing as an outfielder. He joined the Seattle Mariners in 2001 as the first Japanese position player in the major leagues. In 2004, he broke an 84-year-old record for the most hits in a season, slapping a total of 262.
Ichiro got 3,089 hits over a 19-year career in the major leagues -- a sure Hall of Fame resume -- after getting 1,278 hits while starring for nine seasons in Japan. His combined total of 4,367 is a professional record in the world. The Japanese government is considering granting Ichiro a People's Honor Award -- which he has declined twice during his career.
In the news conference that began late at night following his final game, Ichiro reflected on his 28 years as a player.
"I loved baseball. And that never changed," he said.
(Compiled from AP and Mainichi reports)
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