“Who the f— is Tom Brady?” is not a question Bostonians hear very often.
But the ubiquitous Patriots quarterback’s name still goes unrecognized every once in a while — sometimes by another professional athlete.
According to The Athletic‘s Peter Gammons, Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki — the 10-time Gold Glove winner who recently transitioned to a front office role within the organization — needed some help determining who had sent him a text message.
Not only did Ichiro not have the unknown number saved in his contacts, but the name the sender gave was also unfamiliar. When one of his coaches asked for the mystery person’s name, Ichiro replied, “Some guy named Tom Brady.”
“Who the f— is Tom Brady?” he asked.
Brady and Ichiro actually have quite a lot in common. They’ve both played their respective sports for 18 seasons and are highly regarded for their hard work, mental acuity, and unparalleled levels of discipline.
Brady may have his TB12 resistance bands to propel him to play at age 40, but Ichiro has a nine-station workout and stretching contraption of his own. In fact, per Gammons’s story, the reason why Brady had reached out to Ichiro was because he wanted to meet him and “study his stretching system.”
Ichiro, who turns 45 years old in October, never found the same postseason success as Brady — despite putting up impressive numbers season after season. He recorded 200-plus hits in each of his first 10 season in the majors and earned 10 consecutive All-Star nods. His plate appearances gradually declined over the years, but Ichiro still keeps himself ready for almost anything.
“He may be technically in the front office, but he prepares as if he’s going to play every night,” one of his closest friends told Gammons. “He works out, he does his stretches, he hits in the cages, he works in the outfield . . . keeping himself ready to continue playing. It might come this season, it might come next spring, but he will be ready.”