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Baseball is just Baseball: The Understated Ichiro [book review]

I usually post by book reviews on on my other site, but Baseball is just Baseball:  The Understated Ichiro seems like it belongs here.

Before I get into this, here are a few things I think you should know up front:

  1. You know what Yogi-isms are, right?  Well, this is a book of Ichiro-isms.
  2. Essentially, this is a really small coffee table book – it’s not a biography or anything like that.  You’re not going to learn about his childhood in here.
  3. Although Ichiro is wearing a Yankee uniform on the front cover, the back cover and in every picture inside the book, all of the quotes are from 2001.

It’s selling like hot cakes on Amazon – as of this writing, there are only 19 copies left, which I am totally shocked by.  I keep underestimating Ichiro.  The guy can still play, and I forget how famous he is.   It’s also available on Kindle, so hard copies aren’t the only avenue to pursue.  Here’s a few highlights via slide show:

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Here are some additional Ichiro quotes:

Experience reality rather than your expectation of reality.

Believe in yourself.

Don’t take yourself seriously, but find an activity to be passionate about and take that activity very seriously.

Don’t buy the hype.

Dissolve hate into love.

Care more about the process than the product.

Find joy in the seeking itself.

The guy doesn’t just have great bat control – he’s got great inner self control, too.

If you love Ichiro, you need this book.  It’s not the most comprehensive guide into his mind, but it’s a snap shot of how he thinks.  “Failure is the mother of success” is actually quite profound, but when asked why he didn’t slide when stealing third, he answered “I didn’t think he would throw,” and that’s this book in a nutshell.  Ichiro isn’t going to give you any complex explanations; if you tell him there’s a fire, he’s not going to give you point by point directions, he’s going to tell you, “Put it out.”  From a more baseball perspective, someone asked him about a tough catch and he responded that he made the catch because the ball was hit to him.  He’s not interested in over-complicating things, and that’s what you get here, cover to cover.

It’s a real shame there aren’t any new quotes here and it’s a bit misleading that he’s wearing a Yankee uniform in every photo, but this is still worth a look for Ichiro fans and philosophy fans alike.


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