I would like to say “thank you” to my great hero, Ichiro Suzuki. As a baseball player he is known not only in Japan but also all over the world.

When Ichiro recently hung up his spikes for the Seattle Mariners, he was the oldest player in Major League Baseball. Therefore, I had to some extent been prepared for his retirement. However, I felt loneliness when he actually retired. I will never see my longtime hero play again. When I was watching the news conference on TV with my family, I was on the brink of crying, trying desperately to keep the tears from falling.

Before I started playing baseball, Ichiro had already been doing his thing in Japan’s pro baseball league. I admired him and then I started baseball. I wanted to be a professional player like him.

However, I suffered greatly from a lack of height. In fact, I spent a lot of time wondering whether I should give up my dream of becoming a baseball player. However, Ichiro rose to the forefront of the sport and established many records despite his own small stature. I drew encouragement from him on many occasions.

Ichiro had devoted himself to baseball since he was young and became a top player. He put up consistent numbers not only in Japan but also in the birthplace of baseball. His journey as a professional baseball player will end at Cooperstown and the Japanese National Baseball Hall of Fame.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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