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Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Untold stories of Ichiro: Wrestling with Griffey, All-Star speeches and ‘Ichi wings’

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Sele: His first year, in spring training, guys were taking BP, and I believe that he was hitting with Jay (Buhner) and Edgar. They were cranking line drives all over the place, no big deal. Ichiro was just staying inside the ball and just flipping the ball to left field with no real impact. Lou (Piniella) starts to get on him, saying something like, “Son, you’ve got to get behind the ball. Drive the ball.” Ichiro puts his finger to his lips and says, “Shhhhhh. I’ve got a plan.”

McLaren: Lou asked him, “Son, do you ever turn on a ball? Do you ever pull the ball?” He just nodded his head and said, “Sometimes.” And Lou goes, “OK, well, I’d like to see it. I’d just like to see you turn on a ball.” So we start the game that night, and he hits one to right field way back on the berm. I mean, he crushed it. So he comes back to the dugout and he’s getting ready to go down the steps and he stops and he looked at Lou and he says, “Is that turn on ball, Lou?”

Sweeney: When you would see Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro taking batting practice together, it was unbelievable. It was like watching a video game. It was just majestic home run after majestic home run.

Kelley: Ichiro loved Griffey. Like, loved Griffey.

Bryant: Griffey would tickle him.

Kelley: They would full-on be wrestling around in the locker room on the couches before games, and Ichiro would just be giggling.

Bryant: It would be right during something serious, and you’d look over and Griffey would just tackle him.

Aardsma: It was nonstop.

Kelley: Griffey would get Ichiro talking #### back to him. He’d be calling Griffey names. At one point, Griffey got a photo of Ichiro and Ichiro’s dog, and I think they were on a private jet. He flew his dog on the private jet when he came to America. Somehow, Griffey got a photo and he got it photoshopped and he overlaid his face with the dog. And he framed it and put it in Ichiro’s locker.

Aardsma: Ichiro had a tie made with Griffey on it, so the whole team wore the tie with Ken Griffey Jr. on it. So Griffey went and got a picture with him and Ichiro’s family and put himself in the picture. Like, as if he were Ichiro. God damn, that was hilarious.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 06, 2021 at 04:46 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ichiro suzuki

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 06, 2021 at 04:57 PM (#6027949)
Why did I not know Jeter's middle name was "Sanderson"?

Kelley: The joke was always to get someone to call Derek Jeter by his middle name: Sanderson. People joked and snickered but nobody would do it. Well, Ichiro catches wind of it. We were in one of the older locker rooms, and Jeter … walks in and Ichiro is like: “Sanderson!”

Chamberlain: From what I heard before he came over, he would always get to second base and see Derek and be like, “Hey, my brother from another mother.”

Kelley: Jeter just gives him the death stare and makes a little joke back. But the funniest part is, Ichiro never sits still; he’s always moving. He’s either stretching or going somewhere or studying film. You’ll never see Ichiro just sitting there. But he sat there for minutes at his locker with his head down, just giggling. People were belly laughing. Not at the fact that Ichiro did it, but the fact that Ichiro thought it was so funny.
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 06, 2021 at 05:49 PM (#6027958)
Ichiro and Griffey were never teammates until the sad, final two seasons of Junior's career. I wonder if that's when all that cavorting was supposed to have taken place.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 06, 2021 at 06:23 PM (#6027960)
Ichiro and Griffey were never teammates until the sad, final two seasons of Junior's career. I wonder if that's when all that cavorting was supposed to have taken place.


The quotes look like they're from David Aardsma, Shawn Kelley, and Mike Sweeney, who were teammates with Ichiro and Griffey on the Mariners 2009-2010.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: July 06, 2021 at 06:28 PM (#6027961)
Sure, why not? Aardsma and Kelley were certainly both there those two years.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: July 06, 2021 at 06:32 PM (#6027963)
The quotes look like they're from David Aardsma, Shawn Kelley, and Mike Sweeney, who were teammates with Ichiro and Griffey on the Mariners 2009-2010.


And someone named Bryant. Who was that? He was the only one I couldn't find connected to the 09-10 team.
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 06, 2021 at 06:38 PM (#6027965)
And someone named Bryant. Who was that? He was the only one I couldn't find connected to the 09-10 team.


Probably longtime Mariners clubhouse chef Jeremy Bryant. The headline mentions "Ichi wings", and Bryant was the chef who came up with them.
   7. Jose Canusee Posted: July 06, 2021 at 08:36 PM (#6027977)
Aardsme might have also been in the clubhouse with Jeter and Ichiro in NY. Ichiro's tenure in Miami ended before Jeter took over, or he might have tried to get some other players to call the boss by his middle name.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: July 06, 2021 at 08:54 PM (#6027981)
there was a feisty Bruins forward named Derek Sanderson BITD.

he took a ginormous deal with the fledgling WHA Philadelphia Blazers in 1972, making him at the time the highest-paid American athlete. was a partner with Joe Namath in a nightclub, played for the NY Rangers, was the NHL's all-time leader in short-handed goals when he retired, married a Playboy bunny in 1979.

he was kinda famous. and Jeter was born in the middle of it all in mid-1974.

but Jeter's parents swear they never heard of him.

Sanderson got two ringzzz with the Bruins (1970 and 1972), so maybe it was fate.
   9. Ron J Posted: July 06, 2021 at 09:28 PM (#6027991)
#8 Also kind of well known for paying off a bet to Bobby Orr about who'd get married first in pennies and dollar bills.

I believe Wayne Cashman actually counted it all to make sure Orr didn't get stiffed.

Photo
   10. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 06, 2021 at 09:46 PM (#6027994)
Untold stories of Ichiro
Ichiro could have told these stories if he wanted to.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 06, 2021 at 11:35 PM (#6028019)

Aardsme might have also been in the clubhouse with Jeter and Ichiro in NY. Ichiro's tenure in Miami ended before Jeter took over, or he might have tried to get some other players to call the boss by his middle name.


Shawn Kelley and Joba Chamberlain told the Jeter story.

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