Mar 6, 2013, 4:49 PM EDT
Get ready for one of the most adorable meetings of athletic supremacy, when a 22-year-old Ichiro Suzuki, sporting a Tom and Jerry sweatshirt and looking like a high school sophomore, crossed paths with His Airness himself, Michael Jordan, circa 1995. This results in a riveting conversation that miraculously has been caught on tape, which you can take a look at yourself if you fast forward to 3:45 on the clip below.
Ichiro introduces himself, then breaks into nervous/excited laughter as his translator explains to MJ that he’s been Ichiro’s idol since he was young, as Ichiro has his hands in his face to hide his excitement.
Then MJ brings up Hideo Nomo, one of the few Major League Baseball pitchers from Japan who hopped across the pond with their craft. Ichiro chuckles, and informs MJ that his first-ever home run was off Nomo. Jordan oohs and cracks, “I guess Nomo don’t want to see him,” as Mike holds his smile waiting for the translator to produce the punch line that will make Ichiro laugh too.
The interview over, Ichiro pops out of the room with a gigantic smile and an MJ autograph under his arm. He holds it tightly and says a few words in Japanese that I will never understand, before he heads back courtside to catch the rest of the shoot around and reflect on his recent brush with a legend. Little does he know he’ll become a legend in his own right, and soon.
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