Ichiro's Teammate Buys Full-Page Ad To Thank Him For His Friendship

It was a powerful gesture from Dee Gordon.

Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will go down as one of baseball's greatest legends, and on Thursday he got the send off the sporting world thought he deserved.

In a full-page ad in The Seattle Times, Mariners' second baseman Dee Gordon thanked Suzuki for everything he had done for him and baseball. Gordon, a top player in his own right, said he idolized Suzuki growing up.

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"Without your friendship and guidance ― and if you never told me your secrets (don't worry, bro, I'll never tell!) ― there wouldn't be a batting champion named Dee Gordon," he wrote.

Suzuki, 45, retires with 10 Golden Glove awards and 10 All-Star picks to his name. He also joins legendary athletes like Manu Ginobili, Jaromir Jagr and Darrell Green who played professionally at a high level well into their 40s. 

Fittingly, Suzuki — who was born in Japan — announced his retirement before the Mariners played an opening season series in Japan. Suzuki played professionally in both Japan and the United States, and he's widely recognized as the player who led the way for many Japanese baseball stars to make the jump the majors.

As he took in the final scene at the Tokyo Dome last week, Gordon was spotted by cameras shedding a tear. 

"You made me want to play baseball," Gordon wrote. "You showed me that I could do anything and everything I could possibly want to do in this game, even when literally everyone is twice as big as us!" 

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