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Ichiro expresses gratitude as he enters Mariners Hall of Fame

20 Comments
By TIM BOOTH

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20 Comments
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A class act!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Congratulations to Ichiro!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

3 more years on the golf course and straight to Cooperstown. 2nd unanimous induction for sure.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I doubt Ichiro spends anytime on the golf course

but he will go straight to Cooperstown

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Not only could he make contact with the ball incredibly well but he could also steal bases, was an excellent fielder, and had an absolute laser for an arm. When I watch his highlights, it's his glove and arm that amaze me most. Most players learned early on not to test his arm. The man is a legend.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Great speech, amusing, good delivery and in English too!

https://youtu.be/fgossI-oZII

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The video of his dogs also congratulating him on his achievement is a very amusing addition to the ceremony. Great man!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Stick,

You're right of course. Ball doesn't move = too easy for ichiro.

Plus he's busy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Baseball is a team sport, and being a member of the "team" means more than small talk!

Well, Ichiro's own teammates has openly spoken about how much wisdom in English (e.g. how to stretch properly, how to set up in the outfield to space yourself properly for fly balls, etc.) he was able to convey to them without a translator. So, that means that at least he was able to perform his duty as a teammate.

Since when do baseball players need to have the English ability to talk about economics, politics, or science?

With all the athletes nowadays who do drugs, are on steroids, sexually harassing women, being wife-beaters, smacking reporters, abusing their children, fighting other players, whining about more pay, not playing until they get a new contract, drinking and driving, etc., I guess the having "not being able to speak good enough English" as the biggest gripe against Ichiro seems like such a breath of fresh air.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mariners fans like to harp on Ohtani and Trout "wasting their careers" on the Angels. How many rings do the Mariners have and how many greats have spent most or all of the careers with them?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I miss ichiro and sad to see him with grey hair which we call salt and pepper. Hope he is doing well!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Pound for pound, the best baseball player ever.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Congratulations Ichiro! You're a class act and a true ambassador of the sport. I thought it was touching when he came out to catch the first pitch from "Ichiro girl" and signed her baseball for her and took a picture. Their meeting was so heartwarming and genuine.

Also, his speech was so like Ichiro; respectful to his fans and former teammates and witty. Loved his story of being at first shocked at being kissed on the lips by his former manager Lou, and then thinking that if that's the way people congratulate wins, he couldn't last being a baseball player in the MLB. His speech made several of the younger baseball players tear up, like Julio Rodriguez. They know that his knowledge of the game that he can pass on to them is so priceless.

So now after retiring he finally learns enough English to give a speech without needing his trusty translator.

FYI: Ichiro was able to make small talk with his teammates for a long time. Speaking in front of millions of people who are clinging to your every word, searching for some mistake to pounce on to twist it into a scandalous moment or soundbite, is another scary matter.

I'm sure he could try to speak in front of the media in English, but I can guarantee that something would not come out right and the media being as they are will twist it into some kind of scandal. Ichiro was smart enough to avoid that and concentrate on the play on the field. After all, baseball fans, at least the true ones, watch their favorite players for the deeds that they do, and not the words that they speak.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“If a skinny, undersized guy from Japan can compete in this uniform, and then stand before you tonight to accept this honor. Then there’s no reason you cannot do it either.”

That is a much better quote than the boring comments many other athletes give in interviews, even though they speak English. Has anyone actually listened in on some of the answers given by many of the native English-speaking athletes? So many of them either give one word answers, snarl or swear at reporters, or give sarcastic comments and growl like the infamous media-hater, New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick.

The lesson: It is not the ability to speak the language that is the most important, but having a personality, a positive attitude, and sense of humor. It's like many of my students. They may have all the knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, but have no sense when to say something, or what to say. On the other hand, I have low level students who communicate well because they are so funny and expressive. Eventually, they end up improving at a much faster rate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So now after retiring he finally learns enough English to give a speech without needing his trusty translator.

What gives you the silly idea he only learned now?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Strangerland: "What gives you the silly idea he only learned now?"

The fact that he didn't while living and working there. Or at least, not much. He flat out refused, in fact, to use English and said as much when starting, emitting a false sense of superiority that led to his alienation from the team. He's arrogant and has even made racist remarks in the past. He likely picked it up over time, if not through study then begrudgingly through exposure. So, maybe he didn't "learn" it now, but is only learning to USE it now when he perhaps ought to.

Now, all that said, perhaps he has grown somewhat humble over that time and decided that English is not his "wife's job" to do for him, and that it is a nice gesture while pitching to a crowd of what is likely predominantly English speaking, same as hopefully people here make an effort to use the native lingo to appeal to mostly native people (if not all).

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

FYI: Ichiro was able to make small talk with his teammates for a long time

Baseball is a team sport, and being a member of the "team" means more than small talk!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Pound for pound, the best baseball player ever.

Really? Arguable, a singularly individual player, only concerned with his statistics and never a "team" player.

Takes more than statistics to be even in the conversation for GOAT.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

He's done well. Most other Japanese baseball players who go to America end up fat and overweight.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

So now after retiring he finally learns enough English to give a speech without needing his trusty translator.

18 years or so in the Majors and he finally gets it done! I'll bet the Japanese are going to be saying "Ichiro sugoi" "Yappari, Ichiro eigo dekiru!" and then all wonder how he did it and try to copy him too!

Remember folks, it took him at least 18 years, on top of the at least 6 he studied in JHS and HS!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

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