Ichiro talks up Ohtani's impact: 'You can't even compare me to him'
Jennifer Buchanan / USA TODAY Sports

They didn't have a chance to play on opposing teams, but being in the presence of one another was enough for Ichiro Suzuki and Shohei Ohtani.

Suzuki, who announced he'll forgo playing in 2018 to transition to a front-office role, caught up with his fellow Japanese star and touched on Ohtani's debut MLB season to date.

"I was definitely very excited to see him for the first time in person," Ichiro told Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times. "Maybe I'll have to pull a Bobby Valentine today (and sneak into the dugout incognito). Today's the day."

(Video courtesy: MLB.com)

Ichiro's influence on baseball has been felt for over two decades, with the 44-year-old earning superstar status in his native Japan. Ohtani, an elite two-way player, represents something new and different for both his country and the sport. The Los Angeles Angels star is only 23, while Ichiro signed with the Mariners at 27 after years of success playing in his homeland.

"You can't even compare me to him, because he's actually doing something that is going to impact not just Japan or here but the whole world," Ichiro added.

Related: Ohtani wishes he could have played against Ichiro

In his first game in Seattle, Ohtani showed off his skill set, albeit only at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Ichiro and Co. won't have to wait long to get another look at the young star, with Ohtani expected to pitch on Sunday.

"He's real pure, just real clean," Ichiro said. "You can't help but like him. There's nothing to not like about him. Some people, because he can do it all and he's such a good guy, maybe they don't like him because of that."

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Ichiro talks up Ohtani's impact: 'You can't even compare me to him'
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