Monday, October 04, 2004

The Artist Ichiro's Perspiration

In the final game of this season on October 3, 2004, Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle Mariners established a new record, 262, for the number of hits in a season of major league baseball. The previous record was 287 set by George Sisler in 1920.

While he was still fighting for a tie, a report in the New York Times praised him to be "an artist who makes the field his canvas," analyzing his five techniques of batting [1]. Those were the chop, the flip, the seeker, the standard and the power stroke.

What made possible his artistic play? Thomas Edison used to say, "Genius was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." Ichiro surely has inspiration, but a glimpse of his much perspiration can be made in his attitude of living; he neither goes to see movies to protect his eyes, nor plays golf not to destroy his batting form. Persons of every profession should learn such a use of great moderation.

When he broke his own record of the number of hits in a season, Ichiro said, "I want to go over my own best, and it is challenging to do so, so far as it is a possibility." These words also reflect his constant perspiration.

Now there are many fans of Ichiro in USA and Japan. However, I am one of the oldest fans of Ichiro, because my favorite Japanese baseball team has been Orix Blue Wave, to which he belonged before joining the major league. That team is now going to be united with Kintetsu Buffaloes to become Orix Buffaloes. The manager Akira Ogi who brought up Ichiro comes back as the manager of the new team. Can he foster another Ichiro?
  1. L. Jenkins, New York Times (Sep. 14, 2004)

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