Baseball: Ichiro surprise guest for Matsuzaka retirement ceremony

Kyodo -- Dec 05
Recently retired pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka bid farewell in a speech Saturday at the Seibu Lions' fan appreciation day, where Ichiro Suzuki surprised him and presented his former opponent and Japan teammate with a bouquet of flowers.

A household name in Japan since high school, thanks to his iconic performances on the national stage, Matsuzaka faced just one batter this season in the final game of a pro career that started in 1999.

"I'm content that I was able to keep playing baseball until I could no longer throw normally in the end," he told fans at Seibu's MetLife Dome in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo.

At the completion of his speech, a video message from Suzuki was played for the crowd.

"It's hard to find words. For that reason, this is the only thing I can do. Please excuse me, Daisuke," Suzuki said on the video, before appearing himself on the field.

Matsuzaka was overcome with emotion upon the arrival of his surprise guest.