Ichiro Suzuki may be retired, but that won’t keep him off the baseball field.
The 47-year-old outfielder, who spent 14 of his 19-year career with the Mariners, was back in uniform on Sunday taking live at-bats in a simulated game with the Seattle Mariners against No. 1 starter Marco Gonzalez.
Gonzalez fired the first pitch high to Ichiro, who turned toward the dugout and said, “good eye,” which received a few laughs. He then popped up the next pitch to left field.
“Sac fly, maybe,” Ichiro said as he ran toward first base.
In addition to Ichiro, his former teammate Mike Cameron was also taking live at-bats.
Cameron, who spent four seasons in Seattle from 2000-03, stepped up to the plate against 27-year-old right-hander Keynan Middleton.
The 48-year-old, who last played in 2011, failed to make contact and struck out in his at-bat.
Ichiro and Cameron participated in the spring game in order to help the team’s pitchers stretch themselves out in preparation for the season. Because Logan Gilbert started in the Mariners’ Cactus League game on Sunday against the Angels, Gonzalez needed to get his work in against live batters.
Ichiro, who works as a special assistant for the team, typically throws batting practice but manager Scott Servais said he knew he was taking cuts as well and would be up for a live at-bat.
“It’s great. Those are all-time Mariner greats,” he said, per MLB.com. “The guys that are in camp, they’re really adding to our camp working with our young players and they want to have a little fun, too.”