“It’s Ichiro!” Is self-esteem important? The sincerity of the American who led the WBC Japan victory
“I’m not ashamed (to get an autograph). I’m Suzuki Ichiro, and I won’t miss that opportunity.”
Lars Nutba (26, St. Louis Cardinals) 안전놀이터started as the 7th hitter center fielder against the Seattle Mariners in the ‘2023 Major League’ held at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, USA on the 22nd (Korean time). Nutba went 0-for-3 on the day. The team also lost 2-5 and seemed to turn around lonely, but soon showed a smile. Because the idol’s autographed uniform was waiting for them.
MLB.com, the official homepage of Major League Baseball, wrote about Nutba and Ichiro meeting after the game. Nutba is a Japanese-American born to a Japanese mother and an American father, and led the championship as a representative of Japan in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
Ichiro is one of the legendary hitters in the major leagues beyond Japan. He recorded a batting average of 0.311 (3089 hits in 9934 at-bats), 117 homers, 780 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.757 in 2653 games in the big league alone. He was loved not only for his outstanding performance but also for his sincere training attitude.
Nutba recalled meeting Ichiro before the game in an interview with ‘MLB.com’. “I asked Ichiro a lot of questions. He was open and answered honestly. It was a great moment. Also, Ichiro asked me how I felt about competing in the WBC, and I said, ‘It was an honor to play for Japan.'” It was a surreal moment to ask Ichiro about baseball and batting.”
On this day, Nutba asked the club staff to purchase an Ichiro uniform from the Seattle club store. Afterwards, he talked to Ichiro and got his uniform signed. “I’m not ashamed (to get an autograph). I’m Suzuki Ichiro, and I won’t miss that opportunity,” he said, smiling like a child.
Nuthba, a major league player, was also a baseball fan in front of the legend he supported as a child. He is going to leave his precious memories behind and take to the pitch to play like Ichiro.