Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida had a surreal experience during Boston’s visit to Seattle to face the Mariners amid their West Coast road trip.

Yoshida, who began his professional baseball career playing in Japan, got the chance to meet and speak with fellow Japanese native and Major League Baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki. An icon in Seattle, Suzuki is widely recognized as the greatest player to come out of Japan, taking a similar career route to Yoshida’s. Suzuki began his MLB career in 2001 at the age of 27, notching 10 consecutive All-Star nominations.

“It was a real honor for me (to talk),” Yoshida said Wednesday through a Japanese translator, according to Sean McAdam of MassLive. “And when we talked, he (said) he had been checking on my results here in the United States, and that was a big honor, too. I just want to keep having good results — for my team and for him.”

So far, so good in accomplishing just that for Yoshida.

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The 30-year-old rookie is hitting .305 — fifth in the American League — with 12 home runs, 23 doubles and 54 RBIs. Yoshida is also leading the Red Sox in hits (113) and on-base percentage (.366) through his first 95 big league games, which should help his American League Rookie of the Year candidacy.

“(Yoshida could be) the best pure hitter since Ichiro (Suzuki),” Red Sox director of pro scouting Gus Quattlebaum said in December, according to Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic.

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Needless to say, Yoshida’s likely making Suzuki proud like he’s been doing for Boston all season long. Like Suzuki, Yoshida is a disciplined left-handed hitter who aims for batting average first, which speaks to the level of inspiration the Mariners great has had on Boston’s left fielder.

“Of all the baseball players in our generation, Ichiro is our hero,” Yoshida explained, per McAdam. “And that of course, including me. Everybody thinks of him that way.”

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Featured image via John Froschauer/USA TODAY Sports Images