Tom Brady asked Ichiro for advice on stretching, Ichiro had no idea who Brady was

Ichiro Suzuki had a memorable response when Tom Brady texted him last year. (AP)
Ichiro Suzuki had a memorable response when Tom Brady texted him last year. (AP)

If Tom Brady isn’t the most recognizable active American athlete, he’s on a very short list.

This means nothing to Ichiro Suzuki.

Brady, the reigning NFL MVP quarterback of the New England Patriots, husband to supermodel Gisele Bündchen and sometimes strangely dressed man about town

(Fine, here’s the photo again.)

Anyway, Brady apparently texted the recently retired (maybe?) Ichiro asking if he could study his stretching routine, according to a passage in Peter Gammons’ story on Ichiro for The Athletic. Ichiro is one of the most entertaining players in Major League Baseball history and famously maniacal about his preparation off of it. Brady is similarly focused on keeping his body sharp, and considering he won an MVP award at 40, it’s working pretty well. Seems like a good match to hang out and discuss stretching and whatnot.

The thing is, Ichiro is so singularly focused on baseball, he had no idea who Brady even was. If this passage from The Athletic doesn’t make you laugh today, nothing will:

One morning in spring training, 2017, he was in the coaches’ room looking at his cell phone text messages. Ichiro told the coaches about one message he had just received from a number he didn’t recognize. The guy said he’d gotten Ichiro’s number from Alex Rodriguez, and that he wanted to come meet him and study his stretching system.

“What’s the guy’s name?” asked one of the coaches.

Ichiro strolled to the end of the text. “Some guy named Tom Brady. Who the f— is Tom Brady?”

Everything about those quick three paragraphs from Gammons and The Athletic is gold. Gammons never revealed if Ichiro met up with Brady to talk about stretching, but that’s beside the point.

The takeaway is that Ichiro gave the quote that will have every Patriots hater smiling this week.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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