March 6, 2013 BY John Kim
In the 90s, it was tough to find someone who didn’t have a pair of Air Jordans on their feet at some point.; it wasn’t a ‘sneakerhead’ thing, but simply a display of reverence to the most dominate athlete in the world – period. Michael’s influence was definitely measurable on the global scale (the Air Jordan IX was a direct tribute to that), with one particular example of Jordan’s reach being this forgotten meeting between Michael and a then-unknown Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro was just 22 years old at the time and only beginning to make a name for himself in Japan (he wouldn’t reach the Major Leagues until 2001), and during this meet-and-greet, the star-struck Ichiro wore an original pair of the Air Jordan VI ‘Carmine’ – quite the impressive on-feet display considering the shoes were roughly four years old at that point.
Even Michael, who was wearing the Concord XI, couldn’t help but point out Ichiro’s kicks by mentioning “Nice shoes!”. That’s right, Ichiro; before you were an MLB MVP and ROY, you were breaking Jordan’s neck with a pair of his own shoes. What did Ichiro get out of this meeting? Aside from meeting his sports idol, he managed to cop an autographed message, but more importantly, Jordan may have motivated Ichiro to become the “Jordan” of Japanese baseball and go on to have a Hall of Fame career in the Major Leagues. Check out this rare and forgotten footage and try to spot Ichiro’s OG Carmines!