Ichiro Suzuki not ready to retire: 'I think I'll just die'

By Ron Clements 30 March 2017
Ichiro Suzuki not ready to retire: 'I think I'll just die'

Ichiro Suzuki may be 43 years old, but he is ready for his 17th MLB season and is not expecting to step away from the game anytime soon.

He's rarely taken any time off, telling the Miami Herald he hasn't taken a vacation since a week-long trip to Italy over 12 years ago.

When it comes to facing his eventual retirement, Ichiro said he might play until he's 50.

"Nobody knows what the future holds," Ichiro told the Herald. "But the way I feel, how I’m thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it.

"When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest," he said, before adding, "I think I’ll just die."

After appearing in 143 games last season, hitting .291 while collecting 95 hits in 327 at-bats, Ichiro will have a more limited role this season with the Marlins. With 81 hits, Ichiro will move past Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Rickey Henderson, Craig Biggio and Dave Winfield for 20th all-time and 86 hits would move him ahead of Alex Rodriguez for 19th all-time. 

Since breaking into MLB with the Mariners in 2001, Ichiro has 3,030 hits and ranks 24th on the all-time MLB list. He made a name for himself while playing for the Orix BlueWave of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League.

He was the league MVP three times and a seven-time All-Star in Japan, where he led the league in hits five times and was the batting champion seven times with seven Golden Gloves. 

The 5-11, 170-pound outfielder didn't slow down in MLB, making the All-Star game 10 times and winning 10 Gold Gloves. He had an immediate impact as the the American League MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2001, when he led the league with 242 hits and a .350 batting average while swiping a league-high 56 bases. 

Ichiro set an MLB record in 2004 with 262 hits and holds the MLB record for most consecutive seasons with at least 200 hits with 10. 

He was traded to the Yankees in 2012 and joined the Marlins for the 2015 season. 

His combined 4,308 hits between the NPL and MLB are the most-ever by any professional baseball player. And he'll keep adding to it as long as he can.

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Ron Clements

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