For 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, Ichiro Suzuki used an interpreter when he spoke to reporters, as he wanted to be sure that his words were clearly understood. Recently, however, Ichiro, who was born in Japan, gave a farewell speech in English to a crowd of Seattle Mariners fans at T-Mobile Park.
Ichiro, a future Hall of Famer, told Mariners fans in English: “This is a happy occasion…Tonight I want to express my appreciation to you for your touching support over the years. When I came to Seattle in 2001, no position player had ever come from Japan before…However, you welcome me with open arms, and you have never stopped…As I look back on my career, the thing I look at with pride is that I enjoyed every challenge and had passion for every day…To the Seattle Mariners organization, I am forever thankful to you for giving me a chance to play the game I love in the city I have come to love. Now, let’s play baseball!”
Earlier this year ProEnglish reported on Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish, who also was born in Japan, and how he was learning to speak better English in order to be able to give mass media interviews in English.
ProEnglish also reported on PGA Tour star Joaquin Niemann, born in Chile, who hired an English-speaking caddie in order to practice English and to better learn English. Niemann just won a prestigious PGA Tour event at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.
ProEnglish salutes these 3 sports stars for their tireless dedication to their respective sports and to their tireless desire to improve their English language proficiency!