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Ichiro on Ichiro Hardcover – August 10, 2004


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Ichiro on Ichiro + The Meaning of Ichiro: The New Wave from Japan and the Transformation of Our National Pastime
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books (August 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570614318
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570614316
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #928,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ichiro Suzuki, the right fielder for the Seattle Mariners, won major league baseball's MVP award in 2001. Narumi Komatsu is a journalist based in Tokyo. Philip Gabriel lives in Seattle.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Erisman on October 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Ichiro recently broke the Major League Baseball record for most hits in one season, a record that had stood for 84 years. On the evening in Seattle when he had a chance to tie the record with a hit, or break it with two, he promptly hit safely his first two times up. His record number of 262 hits was nearly 50 hits better than the runner up in the American League this season.

This book gives a very personal glimpse into the mindset of the man who not only has set numerous Major League records, but is a national hero in his native Japan after winning seven consecutive batting titles there. The book is laid out entirely in Q&A format and covers his entire playing career, his childhood, little league, his move to America and his first three seasons playing for the Seattle Mariners. While most biographies tell a story, what is surprising about this book is how direct and honest he is. It is fascinating to read about the mental and physical preparation he puts into the game.

Recently a Sports Illustrated writer attempted to discount his hits record. This was a huge miss. Ichiro is the real deal, a major leaguer who respects the game in every way, plays his all for the fans, and earns every hit he gets. The hard facts are that for 84 years thousands of players have failed to break that record for a reason. An amazing athlete with gold glove fielding ability, an arm like Roberto Clemente, and the ability to turn a soft infield ground ball into two bases with a single and a stolen base.

This book is worth reading if you are at all a fan of the game. It is refreshing in an era of ego-maniacs and over paid prima donnas, that we have an athlete who takes his craft seriously, wants to work to earn every penny, and is humble in the process.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on October 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The superlatives are well known: hits, fielding, 3.6 seconds to first base, stealing bases - everything. Less well known is the man behind the bat. From his life in Japan, his family, the big change from living in Japan to living in Seattle.

But above all this book is on baseball: how it is played in Japan, how it is different here; the relationships among the players, negeotiating salaries with the team; the consistent and unrelenting pressure from the press. Perhaps the best though is the serious analysis of the game that he gives every aspect of the game. Excellent, even if you're not a Mariners fan.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD HALL OF FAME on September 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
can't say enough about Ichiro. He is already a Superstar Baseball Player&the scary part He is just getting started.this Book details His upbringing,His family Life&of course His Playing career. you get a really good insight to Him but believe Me there are still many more chapters left to His Great playing career that haven't been made yet.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Lundstrom on September 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Philip Gabriel is magnificent in putting together of the most interviews Ichiro has ever had with one media member. Mr. Komatsu's questions are straight to the point, and they are easy to understand. Ichiro really opens up and really lets the reader understand how he ticks. The Sultan of Swat! Go Ichiro - 257!

A great buy for the casual fan wanting to really know who Ichiro is - and for the serious fan who wants to know exactly what that skinny guy slapping singles and beating out infield grounders on the diamond is really all about.

Great addition to the library! WELL worth the $30 it was on it's first day!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ohmysohopeless on January 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The book appears mostly a direct translation of Japanese version. Although I am in a previledged position of being able to understand both English and Japanese, I have not had access to the Japanese version. This seems irrelevant to most readers who would be reading this book, but my point is that at times it is apparent that the target audience is not *American* baseball or Ichiro fans. How you feel about reading about a person yet he is not necessarily communicating with you depends on the reader, I guess. Some readers may get bored about his Japanese league endeavor simply becaused the vantage point is that of an avid Japanese Ichiro fan. Yet, Ichiro would not have gone into technical discussions of hitting, for example, unless he was talking to a Japanese writer (otherwise the subtleties of what he really wants to say would be lost in translation; he even struggles to make it into words in his mother tongue anyways), so the fact that the interviewer was not an American who would have been writing for Americans may well made the book more interesting.

One thing that I wish to point out is that many Americans, after reading this book, are surprised how eloquent Ichiro actually is. Most atheletes are not really known for their eloquence, so there is nothing interesting there, but for Japanese ballplayers language barrier is often the reason why they appear even more quiet. They fear of getting misunderstood using little English. Even someone like Hideo Nomo, who has been described as a sourpuss, does actually talks substantially to the media, if you can understand Japanese.

If you wish to know Ichiro the baseball master in depth or wish to know a bit about the Japanese baseball, I highly recommend this book. For casual observers, the book might just be a curious read into the mind of baseball *geek* from a land where attention to subtleties is appreciated.
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