Ichiro Suzuki had no idea who Tom Brady was when the Patriots QB texted him last year

Ichiro Suzuki was pretty focused on baseball during his 18 years as a major league player — so much so that he didn't even recognize the name of one of the most successful and well known football players of this era when it popped up on his phone.

In a column Wednesday, the Athletic's Peter Gammons paid tribute to Suzuki, who made the transition from player to front office executive with the Seattle Mariners last week. In the column, Gammons relates an anecdote he was told by Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly from spring training in 2017.


One morning, Suzuki, then a Marlins outfielder, was checking his text messages in the coaches room. He mentioned that he had received a text from a number he didn't recognize. Suzuki said the guy had gotten his number from Alex Rodriguez and wanted to meet him to learn about his stretching routine.

A coach asked what the person's name is.

"Some guy named Tom Brady," Ichiro said. "Who the ... is Tom Brady?"

Brady became the New England Patriots' starting quarterback in 2001, the same year Suzuki broke through in the majors. Since then, they've become legends in their respective sports.

But somewhere along the way — while he was racking up 3,089 MLB hits, 509 stolen bases, 10 Gold Gloves and the 2007 American League MVP awards — Suzuki must have missed Brady's 66,159 passing yards, 488 touchdown passes, three NFL MVP awards and five Super Bowl championships.

It's understandable. But now that Suzuki isn't playing baseball, maybe he'll be able to catch up on some NFL highlights from the last couple of decades.

Twitter: @chewkiii