Ichiro shows up at high school to blast dingers

The 48-year-old answered the team's request to visit

November 30th, 2021

Ichiro has been retired for a couple years, spending his time with the Mariners as special assistant to the chairman. But unlike most retirees who give up their craft, the world's greatest hitter has continued to make frequent appearances on the field -- throwing batting practice or catching bullpens. He seemingly can't get enough of the game.

Still, that doesn't mean he'd just show up at a random high school practice to hit some dingers, does it?

Well, actually, yes.

Back in January, a few students from Japan's Kokugakuin Kugayama High School wrote the 48-year-old future Hall of Famer a letter asking him to be a guest instructor at one of their practices. And then, after nearly a year, this past Monday, Ichiro showed up -- reportedly touched by the note.

“The letter oozes with your passion,” Ichiro told the group, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun. “I have put it in the drawer where I keep important things and I’ll treasure it.”

After lacing up his spikes and throwing on some warmup gear, Ichiro proceeded to drill homers off the building across the street in right field.

Listen to the "ooohs" and "ahhs" from the teenagers watching. Look at how bewildered and delighted they are seeing his power.

And Ichiro wasn't done.

The man who stole 509 bases and probably turned more groundouts into singles than anybody else during his MLB career also demonstrated the best way to run the bases or swipe a bag.

“If you swing your arms back, you can widen your stride by a step. And you can take bigger steps when your shoulder blades start to get involved.”

According to reports, Ichiro plans on visiting two more schools in Japan before the end of the year. And hey, if you write a passionate enough letter to him, he might visit yours, too.

h/t to u/Reignado on Reddit for posting the clip