Forget “four more years!” Baseball fans should aim chants of “eight more years!” at Ichiro Suzuki whenever they get the chance in 2016.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Ichiro, 42, revealed he’d like to extend his professional baseball career well into the next decade.
“I want to keep playing until I am at least 50,” Ichiro said.
Hmm… was he joking?
It’s tough to tell from the tone of his ESPN The Magazine interview with Rivera, in which he discussed his 25-year career (16 of which he spent in Major League Baseball). Ichiro stressed that he feels good physically and has adjusted to his role as a player who doesn’t play every game for the Miami Marlins.
Now just two hits shy of the hallowed 3,000 mark (in MLB), Ichiro is a lock for enshrinement into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. But he’s not preparing his induction speech or planning to don his trademark shades at the end (like former teammate Ken Griffey Jr. and his backward cap).
“I think you are eligible for the HOF ballot five years after you retire, so I think I will be dead by then,” he told Rivera while laughing. “I won’t get to experience it.”
Is that Ichiro’s dark humor or is he being dead serious?
Thumbnail photo via Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images