On Saturday, the Mariners honored his legacy by presenting him with the Mariners Franchise Achievement Award.
As a player, he would speak through an interpreter, according to Greg Johns of MLB.com. On Saturday, he delivered a speech entirely in English to the home crowd at T-Mobile Park.
(Video courtesy MLB.com)
"And I know, you had every reason not to accept me. However, you welcomed me with open arms and you have never stopped, even when I left and came back," Ichiro said.
Ichiro's tenure in Seattle started magically. As a 27-year-old in 2001, he hit .350/.381/.457 and stole 56 bases en route to winning the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year. He was named to 10 straight All-Star teams and won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves while playing no fewer than 146 games in a season.
Though his production waned in his later years, Ichiro, now 45, finished his MLB career with a .311 batting average (.321 with the Mariners).
He rejoined Seattle in 2018 after five-plus seasons away, and though he would only appear in 17 games with the club over two years, he was glad to be back.
"I was so grateful for the chance to return in 2018," he said. "And the reason is you fans. Thank you, Seattle."