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Watch a young, starstruck Ichiro meet Jordan

A meeting of legends
@CF_Larue
May 4, 2020

The mid-90's were a crazy time. The Warped Tour was starting its annual tours of the country. People were voluntarily wearing JNCO jeans for some reason. Michael Jordan played baseball for a year. And, Ichiro wasn't yet a member of the Mariners. In fact, just in his early 20's, he

The mid-90's were a crazy time. The Warped Tour was starting its annual tours of the country. People were voluntarily wearing JNCO jeans for some reason. Michael Jordan played baseball for a year.

And, Ichiro wasn't yet a member of the Mariners. In fact, just in his early 20's, he was already becoming a star in Japan, setting a single-season hits record and winning an MVP Award in 1994. He was -- in the parlance of the times -- the hottest thing since sliced bread.

Even stars can get starstruck. In 1995, Ichiro traveled to the United States to check out the scene in anticipation of an eventual move to MLB. When the best baseball player in Japan came face-to-face with Michael Jordan, he nearly melted:

At this point, Ichiro was still six years away from debuting with the Mariners and winning the AL MVP Award as a rookie. Even so, listening to the translator explain to MJ that, no, Ichiro is not a pitcher and, yes, he just got 210 hits a season ago is a fairly jarring experience with the perspective of history.

Even though it's strange to see Ichiro this young and this unknown, the interaction is refreshingly familiar. After Jordan asked the Japanese superstar if he planned on playing in the Majors, Ichiro responded with classic Ichiro wit: "Once my arm get as big as yours, then I'll think about it."

It's probably fair to say that Ichiro's arm never got as big as Jordan's, but that didn't seem to matter much in the end.

Eric Chesterton is a writer for MLB.com. He is an appreciator of the stolen base, the bunt against the shift and nearly every unconventional uniform design. He eagerly awaits Jamie Moyer's inevitable comeback.