In the photo above Ichiro Suzuki already looks 50 but he’s not. He’s 43-years-old and is still trucking in the majors. At this point in his career he could be sitting on a beach somewhere relaxing. But some people aren’t built that way, and Ichiro certainly isn’t either. Ichiro is driven. Ichiro is motivated. And Ichiro loves baseball. Why take that away from someone? This is a guy who have absolutely nothing left to prove and is undoubtedly one of the best if not best hitters the game has ever seen.
Let break down these quotes from the Miami Herald who did a story on Ichiro yesterday:
Ichiro doesn’t much care for down time, either. Every now and then, he’ll take a day trip to Cooperstown, New York, to check out the Hall of Fame. A frequent visitor, he wallows in the history of the sport, knows it inside and out. But that’s about it. His typical offseason – if it can be called that – hardly exists.
Total baller. The fact that his only traveling is to Cooperstown is tremendous.
“Three or four days, tops,” said his translator, Allen Turner. Most players head home or travel the world to unwind the moment the season ends. But Ichiro is back in the cages, practicing his swing, within days after the last game has been played. “I’m telling you,” Turner said, “there’s nobody in the world that takes more swings over the course of a year than this guy. Guaranteed.”
Just like Kobe Bryant would be practicing in the gym at 3am. This is no different and is incredible.
Despite his age, Ichiro is in supreme physical condition. His workout regimen is legend. Like all teams, the Marlins have a weight room that players use to stay in shape. Ichiro has his own, a metal cargo container set up behind the clubhouse at the team’s spring training facility in Jupiter. It contains an assortment of machines he uses to keep fit. It’s its own tourist attraction. St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter wandered over a few days ago just so he could take a gander at it.
Steroids? He’s the only guy I highly doubt is on them. He’s baseball’s Tom Brady.
Ichiro has no intention of stopping anytime soon, anytime before he turns 50. “Nobody knows what the future holds,” he said. “But the way I feel, how I’m thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it.” Why rest now? “When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest,” he said. And when the day finally comes to retire? “I think I’ll just die,” he said.
What stud. Remember, Julio Franco was playing in his mid 40s. Ichiro can do it.