Ichiro Suzuki doesn't appear in as many games as he used to, but the 43-year-old Miami Marlins outfielder still managed an impressive .291 batting average in 143 games last season. He also has no plans to hang his cleats up in the near future.
"I'm not joking when I say it," he said. "Nobody knows what the future holds. But the way I feel, how I'm thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it. When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest."
Ichiro also had a somewhat morbid response when asked what he would do upon finally retiring.
SEATTLE, UNITED STATES: Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki addresses members of the media on 30 November 2000 upon his arrival in Seattle, Washington. Suzuki signed a three-year contract with the Mariners. AFP PHOTO/DAN LEVINE (Photo credit should read DAN LEVINE/AFP/Getty Images)
Seattle Mariners leadoff batter Ichiro Suzuki of Japan watches his second inning double to left field against New York Yankees starting pitcher Roger Clemens during their American League matchup at Safeco Field in Seattle, May 20, 2001. Suzuki was beaned by a pitch on May 19 and was unable to score a hit after scoring at least one hit in the prior 23 games. REUTERS/Anthony P.
Seattle Mariners rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki catches a ball hit deep by Oakland A's batter Miguel Tejada during the first inning of their American League game at Safeco Field in Seattle, June 28, 2001. The A's won the game 6-3. REUTERS/Anthony P.
Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki of Japan hugs New York Mets
manager Bobby Valentine before the 72nd All-Star game at Safeco Field
in Seattle July 10. Ichiro, the leading vote-getter in both leagues
will play in his first All-Star game.
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki catches a long drive by
Boston Red Sox batter Jose Offerman in his glove (Left Photo) but then
loses it for a home run as he collides with the wall of the bullpen
(Right Photo) in the second inning of their August 16, 2001 American
League game at Fenway Park in Boston.
Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki singles off Baltimore Orioles pitcher
Rick Bauer in the fourth inning at Camden Yards in Baltimore, September
2, 2001. The Mariners went on to win the game 1-0. REUTERS/Joe Giza
American League All-Star Ichiro Suzuki, of the Seattle Mariners,
grounds out to second during third inning action in the 2002 Major
League Baseball All-Star Game in Milwaukee July 9, 2002. REUTERS/Mike
Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki warms up prior to his first at bat
against the Anaheim Angels July 21, 2002 in Anaheim, California.
American League All-Star Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners runs out
a batted ball in the first inning of the 2003 Major League All-Star
Game, in Chicago July 15, 2003. Suzuki was out at first on the play.
Seattle Mariners centerfielder Ichiro Suzuki leaps to throw to second
base after picking up what appeared to be a hit by New York Yankees
batter Aaron Boone in the fourth inning August 10, 2003 at Yankee
Stadium. The throw caught runner Jorge Posada for an out, denying Boone
of a hit. The Mariners won 8-6. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki of Japan falls to the ground while watching the ball bounce after Suzuki nearly caught a double hit deep to the outfield wall by Texas Rangers bater Herbert Perry during the fifth inning of their American League game at Safeco Field in Seattle on April 16, 2004. REUTERS/Anthony P. Bolante APB
Seattle Mariners Japanese player Ichiro Suzuki warms up before the game against the Anaheim Angels in Anaheim, California, September 20, 2004. Suzuki needs 22 hits in his last 13 games to break George Sisler's 84-year-old mark of 257 hits in a season. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson LN/SV
Seattle Mariners baseball star Ichiro Suzuki of Japan sets himself prior to getting his 261st base hit of the year, during third inning play against the Texas Rangers in Seattle, October 3, 2004. Ichiro finished the season with 262 base hits, surpassing the 84-year-old record of 257 held by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns, set in 1920. He also set records with most hits in his first four seasons of Major League ball with 924 and most singles in one season with 225. REUTERS/Andy Clark AC
Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki reacts to a joke from a teammate during batting practice at the team's spring training camp in Peoria, Arizona, March 4, 2005. REUTERS/Jeff Topping jt
Seattle Mariners batter Ichiro Suzuki of Japan gets ready to face Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett in Miami. Seattle Mariners batter Ichiro Suzuki of Japan gets ready to face Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett in third inning play at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida, June 9, 2005. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki of Japan is interviewed by a member of the Japanese media before the 76th MLB All Star Game in Detroit. Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (R) of Japan is interviewed by a member of the Japanese media before the 76th Major League Baseball All-Star Game In Detroit, Michigan, July 12, 2005. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Seattle Mariners batter Ichiro Suzuki misses a bunt attempt against the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning of American League action in Toronto September 21, 2005. The Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 3-2. REUTERS/Mike Cassese MC/YH
Japanese rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki gives the thumbs up during practice for the World Baseball Classic final in San Diego, California, March 19, 2006. Japan will face Cuba in the final on March 20. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Japan's Ichiro Suzuki holds the championship trophy of the World Baseball Classic after winning the final against Cuba in San Diego, March 20, 2006. Japan won 10-6. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
American League All-Star Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki stretches in the outfield before the 77th annual All-Star baseball game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 11, 2006. REUTERS/John Sommers (UNITED STATES)
Seattle Mariners centerfielder Ichiro Suzuki, of Japan, makes a catch on a flyball hit by San Francisco Giants Justin Leone during the second inning of an MLB baseball spring training game in Peoria, Arizona, March 7, 2007. REUTERS/Paul Connors (UNITED STATES)
Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki (C) celebrates in the dugout after scoring during the first inning of their American League baseball game against Tampa Bay Devil Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida May 24, 2007. Ichiro was playing in his 1000th Major League Baseball game. REUTERS/Scott Audette (UNITED STATES)
American League All-Star Ichiro Suzuki (R) of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees after Suzuki's inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in San Francisco, California, July 10, 2007. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES)
Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki smiles during a news conference announcing his five-year contract extension with the club in Seattle, Washington, July 13, 2007. REUTERS/Robert Sorbo (UNITED STATES)
Seattle Mariners center fielder Ichiro Suzuki misses catching a hit by New York Yankees batter Chad Moeller and two runs scored in the fifth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, May 23, 2008. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
American League all-star Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners' chases a fly ball during batting practice before the start of Major League Baseball's All-Star game at Yankee Stadium in New York July 15, 2008. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)
Team Japan's Ichiro Suzuki (C) is sprayed with champagne by teammates in the locker room while celebrating their victory over Team Korea in the World Baseball Classic championship game in Los Angeles, California, March 23, 2009. REUTERS/Ted S. Warren/Pool (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)
Fans hold signs congratulating the Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki for his 2,000th career hit during the team's MLB American League baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland September 6, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Bartram (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki reacts after scoring the game-winning run against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning of their 2010 MLB season opening baseball game in Oakland, California April 5, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki walks out of the batting cage during batting practice before their MLB American League baseball game against the New York Yankees in Seattle, Washington, July 10, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Sorbo (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki loses his balance as he chases a single by New York Yankees batter Derek Jeter in the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 29, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki puts on his sunglasses in the dugout as he prepares to play the Los Angeles Angels during their MLB American League baseball game in Anaheim, California July 15, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki waves to the sold out crowd at Safeco Field before he accepted his Gold Glove Award, prior to the start of the Mariners' MLB National League baseball season home opening game against the Cleveland Indians in Seattle April 8, 2011. REUTERS/Anthony Bolante (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki speaks during a news conference before taking on the Boston Red Sox in their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, July 27, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees left fielder Ichiro Suzuki makes a leaping catch against the Oakland Athletics during the tenth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, September 22, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Ichiro Suzuki of the New York Yankees swings his bat during batting practice before Game 1 of the MLB ALCS playoff baseball series between the Detroit Tigers at the Yankee Stadium in New York, October 13, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
New York Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki tips his cap to the crowd after he singled against the Toronto Blue Jays for his 4000th professional career hit in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 21, 2013. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Japan's outfielder Ichiro Suzuki drinks a cup of Japanese green tea during a news conference to announce an agreement on a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins in Tokyo January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Aug 11, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) hits an rbi sacrifice fly in the seventh inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 24, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Fans cheer on as Miami Marlins pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki (not pictured) steps into the batters box as during the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; The center field sign at Coors Field after Miami Marlins center fielder Ichiro Suzuki (not pictured) hit his 3000 major league hit in the seventh inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) poses during spring training media day at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Considering his commitment to the sport, and to staying in shape, it's hard to question his commitment to playing.
"The last time he took one — 2004 or '05, he doesn't recall which — was a week-long trip to Milan, Italy. He worked out pretty much the entire time and said the excursion threw him out of sync for two or three weeks.
"Never again, he vowed.
"'That's the last time I took a vacation,' he said."
These days, during the offseason he takes three or four days off before returning to his workouts, which reportedly take place in a cargo container the Marlins have bequeathed to him as a sort of personal gym.
He may be entering his 26th season playing professional baseball, and his 17th in MLB, but why would he give his body a break?
"Physically, unless you have some kind of injury, you don't really need a break," Ichiro said. "I think mentally you sometimes need a break. But for me, my body is built so that if I don't work out, that's when I put more stress on my body and get more tired. For me, if I stay on the couch all day — or even one day — I'll be more tired doing that than going out and giving my body a workout."