Daisuke Matsuzaka brought his 23-year baseball career to a close Saturday in a ceremony.
Matsuzaka, who faced only one batter this season for the Saitama Seibu Lions -- told fans that he was happy to leave on his terms.
"I'm content that I was able to keep playing baseball until I could no longer throw normally in the end," said Matsuzaka, who was surprised during the ceremony by Ichiro Suzuki.
A video from Suzuki was played, ending with him surprising Matsuzaka on the field and giving him a flower bouquet.
"I hadn't imagined this. It was crazy," Matsuzaka said. "At first I was able to hold up, and then the tears came and I was done for.
"I was surprised and just overjoyed that, at the end, Ichiro-san came to see me. I'm happy I was able to come so far."
Suzuki and Matsuzaka faced each other both in Japan and Major League Baseball over their careers. They were also teammates for Japan's World Baseball Classic titles in 2006 and 2009.