Daisuke Matsuzaka ends his 23-year career, surprises Ichiro Suzuki in the ceremony

Daisuke Matsuzaka ended his 23-year professional baseball career in a ceremony that featured a surprise appearance by Ichiro Suzuki.

Matsuzaka, who has only faced a single hitter this season for the Saitama Seibu Lions – appearing in an October appearance – told fans at Seibu’s MetLife Dome he’s happy to leave sport on its own terms.

“I’m pleased that I was able to keep playing baseball until I finally couldn’t throw normally anymore,” said Matsuzaka, according to Kyodo News.

A video of Suzuki was played, ending with a long time Seattle Mariners The midfielder surprised Matsuzaka on the field and presented him with a bouquet of flowers.

“I didn’t imagine this. It was crazy,” Matsuzaka said, according to Kyodo News. “At first I was able to hold out, then tears flowed and I was done.

“I was surprised and overjoyed because Ichiro-san finally came to see me. I’m glad I was able to come this far.”

Suzuki and Matsuzaka have faced each other in both Japan and Major League Baseball over their careers. They were also teammates to win Japan’s World Classics Baseball Championship in 2006 and 2009.

Matsuzaka, 41, is 56-43 with an ERA of 4.45 in 132 MLB career titles that began with Boston Red Sox and New York Mets from 2007 to 2014. He won the World Series title during his rookie season with the Red Sox in 2007.

He started and ended his career with the Lions, playing for them from 1999 to 2006 and the past two seasons. He also played for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks and Chunichi Dragons after returning to Japan in 2015.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/32787883/daisuke-matsuzaka-ends-23-year-career-surprised-ichiro-suzuki-ceremony Daisuke Matsuzaka ends his 23-year career, surprises Ichiro Suzuki in the ceremony

Jake Nichol

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