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on October 15, 2004
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. If you are not a fan of his records, then this book will likely make a fan out of you for his professionalism, respect for the game and attitude. An unfortunate rarity in sports these days. A class act all the way.
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on October 7, 2004
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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HALL OF FAMEon September 18, 2004
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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on September 29, 2004
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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on January 1, 2005
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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VINE VOICEon December 12, 2004
This book is a fascinating set of interviews between Ichiro Suzuki, one of the world's best baseball players, and reporter Narumi Komatsu. I'm a Seattle native and Mariner's fan who has always been fascinated with all things Japanese. Naturally I'd be drawn to this book yet you don't have to be like me to thoroughly enjoy it. You don't even have to be a Mariner's fan, or a baseball fan to appreciate this excellent work. I highly recommend it.

Ichiro is not only one of the game's great players but he's a classy, hard-working guy as well. It's nice to know that the guy who broke the major league single season hit record is a truly worthwhile human being rather than just another steroid freak. To illustrate his character, it states herein that he was surprised by how shabbily the American players treat their equipment. Rather than letting the staff clean his shoes and take care of his gloves, Ichiro prefers to do such tasks himself, demonstrating a greater respect for the game. I liked this book much better than David Shield's collection of media quotes and cryptic comments published in 'Baseball is Just Baseball'. In this tome, you really get to know Ichiro not only as a great player, but as a great person as well.

You can learn a whole lot about Ichiro, his family, and his transition form Japanese baseball to the American system. You find out how he learned to bat so well and the game where his technique finally clicked into place (on 04/11/99). And, you can learn some practical real life wisdom from his struggle for perfection. An example quote: "Win the MVP and everybody says you're great," Ichiro says. "Everywhere you go people make a fuss over you... But once you get used to that and get carried away by it, you lose a sense of who you really are." Sage advice I think.

Lawrence Kane
Author of 'The Way of Kata' and 'Martial Arts Instruction'
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on November 18, 2004
This is an amazing book! Ichiro is extremely informative, and I have learned a lot about baseball, both Japanese and American. Ichrio seems to typically be fairly reserved, but this book let's you discover what he's like. At first I thought that a book that was basically just one big interview would be boring, but this is far from that! I highly recommend this book!
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on July 13, 2014
Not much was known about Ichiro through US media except for his stats and behavior at the club house, etc. The book gave me insight as to how Ichiro thinks of a baseball and his philosophy in playing the game every day. (The type of questions asked to him brought out these information?) He seems to be a real student of the game who not only takes the game of baseball seriously and respects it, but also considers other aspects of the game into consideration as a player. I was delighted to find out profound side of his baseball life, not just his great stats as a batter. It is always nice to discover human side of an athlete.
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on November 23, 2013
Ichiro is Ichiro (or was when I bought this book for my grandson). This was several years ago before he went to the Yankees. He was our hometown baseball hero.
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on June 20, 2013
The book is in interview format. If you are interested in the origins of Ichiro's fascinating career and his early days with the Mariners, Ichiro, buy it.
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