Watch Ichiro treat his baseball bat with as much care as most people have for their children
Without resorting to hyperbole, I feel comfortable saying that there is no one quite like Ichiro. No other baseball player has racked up 3,000 big league hits after not making their MLB debut until the age of 27 -- to say nothing of collecting over 1,200 while playing in the NPB. No one has a fitness regime like Ichiro's, requiring a highly specialized space age stretching apparatus. And certainly, no one gives quotes like Ichiro:
Naturally, that extends to how he treats his equipment. As Root Sports detailed during Saturday's Marlins-Pirates game, not only does Ichiro unpack his own bags -- something even Crash Davis won't do -- but he won't place his bat in the bat rack either. Instead, he lovingly places it above the dugout, giving it the same real estate usually devoted to ballplayer butts and in-game candy and snacks.
Robby Incmikoski pointed out that Ichiro's "whole philosophy, throughout the years, is that he wants to be respectful of his equipment. And that's every piece of equipment. I walked into the Marlins clubhouse the other day and saw him unpacking two bags. I said to a Marlins staffer, 'Is Ichiro unpacking his own bag?' -- he's hanging up his jersey, his cleats, his pants -- and he said, 'Oh, nobody touches Ichiro's stuff. He wants everything a certain way and it has to be perfect."
We can only hope that in addition to giving his bat prime seating, he takes it on sight-seeing tours and has a little bat-bed for it made of fleece and the softest of flannel.