On Mother’s Day we looked at Ichiro’s mom. Today, on Father’s Day, we look at Ichiro’s dad, Nobuyuki Suzuki.
Soon after Ichiro began playing baseball at age seven for his elementary school, he asked Nobuyuki to help him to one day become a professional. The two began intensive hitting, throwing, and fielding drills every day in a field near their home, adjacent to the main entrance of the Nagoya airport. The paterfamilias claimed that “baseball was fun for both of us.” However, Ichiro said, “It might have been fun for him… but it bordered on hazing, and I suffered a lot.”
Since Ichiro turned pro, Nobuyuki has curated the Ichiro Exhibition Room, containing nearly 3,000 artifacts. Besides Ichiro’s childhood baseball memorabilia are his dental retainer, Nintendo game cartridges, Transformer toys, a Go game, and a mannequin of a 12-year-old Ichiro sitting at his childhood desk. Read more here and here.
Last September, after Ichiro became the first MLB player with 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons, Nobuyuki spoke to the press while displaying his calligraphic idiom by third century BC Chinese Confucian philosopher Xun Zi: “Any packhorse that runs slow can run fast and overtake a fine horse if it keeps running with a cart for 10 days.”