Brian McCann
AP Photo/John Bazemore

Brian McCann recently recalled a great story of when he was with the New York Yankees that involved Ichiro Suzuki.

Braves catcher Brian McCann has played ball for numerous teams, but it seems his heart has always been in Atlanta. He began his career there in 2005 and played there until 2013. After a three-year stint with the New York Yankees and a two-year stint with the Houston Astros, McCann is now back in Atlanta.

However, that doesn’t mean he didn’t have great memories during the years in between his two Braves stints.

McCann, 35, recently spoke with David O’Brien of The Athletic. Within the discussion, McCann took the time to discuss a great story he was a part of while playing ball in the Bronx.

“One of the first series when I went to New York, I went in to get batting gloves or something out of my locker in, like, the eighth inning,” McCann said. “Ichiro (Suzuki) was in full cleats, and he was doing sprints in the clubhouse. In cleats, dead sprints, 40 years old, to go play defense in the ninth. And I just remember looking at him like, ‘Man, I’ve got to get better.’ Because … I wouldn’t be doing that. And I saw that, and I thought, ‘He’s 40 years old, stretching out and running and getting ready to go play defense for an inning. That’s why he’s one of the greatest of all time.’ The little things like that are what separate future Hall of Famers.”

McCann and Ichiro were only teammates for one season in 2014. After that, Ichiro went off to Miami for his three-year stint with the Marlins before returning to the Seattle Mariners in 2018.

However, one season with Ichiro is probably all it took to see the work ethic and heart of a true baseball legend.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.