Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame Saturday night. During the festivities, Ichiro, in a video presentation, spoke English, something he never did with the media while in Seattle. Everyone in the northwest knew he spoke English, but he only spoke Japanese in interviews, using an interpreter to translate his answers. It was thought he did not trust his English, unsure he was saying the right words. Maybe he just was not crazy about Seattle media. Who knows?
But here is his video tribute to Junior on his induction to Mariner Hall of Fame. http://wapc.mlb.com/sea/play/?content_id=29604477&topic_id=8877490&c_id=sea
His personality comes through, at least the one we heard about. Ichiro is funny, especially at the end. But Junior will always be the most beloved Mariner. He was charismatic, gregarious, had the great smile, played with the joy of a kid. And of course there was no greater player during the 1990’s. Unbelievable catches, home runs, Junior was the five tool player, hitting for average, hitting for power, running the bases, catching the ball, and throwing the ball. He did everything.
Junior could get surly once in awhile with the press, but the reporters kept those outburst to themselves for the most part. But at least he spoke English. Maybe that was why Ichiro spoke Japanese to the media. It was a way of distancing himself, protecting himself, keeping the media a little bit at bay.
But thanks to Ichiro for his video. Nice to hear from you.