The slaps toward the gaps. The laser throws from right field. The unmistakable stance in the batter's box.
It's an end of an era for Seattle Mariners baseball, as the team traded iconic outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees for a pair of minor-league pitchers.
Ichiro just told the media that he realized that it was better for him to leave the Mariners, which have stocked their roster with younger bats and arms.
"I'm overcome with emotion," when thinking about the fans' support beginning in 2001, he said through an interpreter.
"When I imagine taking off a Mariner uniform, I (am) overcome with sadness. It has made this a very difficult decision today," he added.
Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln: "He felt that what was best for the team was to be traded."
"He will go down in history in this franchise as one of the best players to ever wear a Mariners uniform," he added.
The Yankees expect to play Ichiro regularly, and at a new position, nonetheless.
"Our plans are to play him in left field," Yankees' Manager Joe Girardi.
The Seattle Mariners traded the 10-time All-Star outfielder for two minor-league prospects and cash considerations. In return, they received right-handed pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar; both will report to Class AAA Tacoma.
Ichiro, 38, who was the American League's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year in 2001, his first for the Mariners after nine seasons in Japan, reportedly asked the team to consider trading him several weeks ago.
In a news release, Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln said that after 12 years with Seattle, Ichiro wanted to give the team the opportunity to build up its younger talent:
"Ichiro knows that the club is building for the future, and he felt that what was best for the team was to be traded to another club and give our younger players an opportunity to develop.
Ichiro will be missed. He owns a long list of Major League Baseball and Mariners club records, has earned many prestigious awards, and in my opinion, he will someday be a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame."
Ichiro's 10 consecutive seasons (2001-10) with 200 or more hits is a Major League record, including a record 262 in 2004.
Mitchell, 25, has spent most of the season pitching with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 6-4 with a 5.04 earned-run average. Farquhar, also 25, has split the 2012 season between the Toronto, Oakland and New York organizations, combining for a 3-2 record and a 3.33 ERA.