Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ichiro's Record Based on Daily Care

Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki reached 200 hits for the ninth consecutive season on Sunday, September 13, 2009, with an infield single. Thus he broke the Major League Baseball (MLB) record owned by Willie Keeler since 1901. You can read more about Ichiro's accomplishment at the Web site of MLB [1].

One of Ichiro's teammates Kenji Jojima told a reporter about the secrets of Ichiro's successful batting as follows [2]:

For example, Ichiro's chair at the clubhouse in our home city is a common one made of pipes, though we have comfortable sofas. Ichiro says, "Sitting on a spongy chair for a long time gives me a stress on my waist." . . . As for the pathway from the clubhouse to the baseball ground, Ichiro has his own choice. There are steps and a slope, and he always uses the latter for going up and down. During the four years of my observing him, he has not changed this behavior. Walking on the steps has the possibility of slipping and causing a sprain when one has spike shoes. . . . On coming back to the bench after hitting a home run, Ichiro says to me, "Jo, did my back look like pleased?" I say, "Yes, it did." Hearing this, he says with a bitter smile, "Then I'm not yet good enough." Such a deed with emotion appearing outside the body as running joyfully is a bad thing for him. . . . (Translated from Japanese by the author.)

Ichro's wonderful record is based on such great daily care of his body and mind. I was much more impressed by Jojima's talk than by the news of Ichiro's breaking of the MLB record after 108 years.

  1. "Chasing History: 9 Consecutive Seasons with 200 Hits,"
  2. K. Jojima, "Let's talk on Ichiro (1)," Asahi-shimbun (September 15, 2009).