St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar made the most of his chance Friday to quiz former MLB star Ichiro Suzuki in their first meeting.
With the Cardinals in town for a weekend series against the Seattle Mariners, who employ Suzuki as an assistant to the club's chairman, the two spoke for over 15 minutes as Nootbaar hurled questions about defense and base running.
"He was super open and honest," said Nootbaar, who called Suzuki a living legend and said the meeting was an experience he would never forget.
According to MLB.com, Nootbaar arranged to get an Ichiro No. 51 Mariners shirt, which the former superstar signed for him.
Nootbaar, who was eligible to play for Japan in the World Baseball Classic through his Japanese mother, last month helped lift Samurai Japan to its first championship since Suzuki starred for his homeland in 2006 and 2009.
Suzuki, too, appeared to enjoy the meeting and mentioned one bit of advice he had for Nootbaar, who hurt his thumb on Opening Day sliding headfirst back into a base.
"I told him don't dive into bases," Suzuki said with a smile.