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Japan 13: 鈴木 一朗 (Ichiro Suzuki)

Well, this post isn't about any direct experience that I had in Japan, rather about something I read today over at Alterdestiny. All-Star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who, reminiscent of the Detroit Lions's Barry Sanders, has played for years without getting injured, showed what a class act he is by visiting the grave site of St. Louis Browns star George Sisler, whose single-season record of 257 hits (set in 1920), Ichiro broke back in 2004.

When Ichiro broke the record, Sisler daughter, then 81 years old, was on hand at the stadium in Seattle. So Ichiro saw it appropriate to pay his respects while he was in St. Louis for the All-Star game.

According to ESPN, "Ichiro, accompanied by his wife, Yumiko, and some friends, laid flowers at Sisler's grave, at Des Peres Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Sisler, a Hall of Famer, died on March 26, 1973. His career was marked by a lifetime .340 batting average, and a .407 average in 1920. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939."

Ichiro has been an All-Star forever, and has won a Gold Glove every year since joining the Mariners. But this year at the All-Star game he got to meet the President of the USA: "Obama, visiting the clubhouses, stopped and signed a ball for Ichiro, who gave a slight bow upon meeting the President and appeared as giddy and excited as a kid. 'My idea, when I saw him, was to say, What's up? to him,' Ichiro said. 'But I got nervous. You know, he has that kind of aura about him. So I got nervous and I didn't say that to him. I was a little disappointed about that. But I realized after seeing him today that presidents wear jeans, too. So my hope is that our skipper, [Don] Wakamatsu, was watching that and we can wear jeans on our flights, as well."

A commenter at Alterdestiny: "Ichiro is also supposed to do marvelous imitations of managers in both English (which he rarely speaks in public) and Japanese. It began with his Lou Pinella and expanded. His Japanese-accented Latin-American Spanglish is the AL's secret weapon."

So, it is confirmed. Ichiro Suzuki is the coolest player in the majors.

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