The Quintessential Pro

Ichiro at Bat

I just returned from New Orleans, my home town, which I had not visited since Katrina hit the Big Easy (as New Orleans is dubbed) on that fateful day, August 23, 2005. Much to my relief, surprise and utter delight, the city has made a remarkable comeback. The houses are mostly all rebuilt, repainted and spiffed up, and the music and food distinguishing New Orleans are as good as ever.

It made me even more optimistic that Japan will bounce back from March 11, 2011 stronger, thanks to the resilience and persistence of its people.

And no where is that determination and other strength more evident than in Ichiro Suzuki, in his 11th year with the Seattle Mariners, with so many records of excellence to his credit that they will surely name a street after him when he retires. These include record hits (262) in a single season, and 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons. Ichiro has played in so many all-star games (10) that he is a star unto his own. On April 2, he became the Mariners All-Time Hit Leader, surpassing Edgar Martinez.

The "hitting machine"

Now 37, Ichiro maintains avoids injury by continuous stretching and training likely as hard as or harder than any other player in Major League Baseball. A perfectionist, fans call Ichiro “the hitting machine.” Safeco stadium, the home base of the Mariners, has concocted a special sushi in his honor, Ichiroll.

Setting the pace

Last Sunday, Ichiro was in outstanding form, with a huge two-run triple in the third inning on a slashing liner to right-center, and a laser pinpoint single later in the game, helping the Mariners tally a come-from-behind 8-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. In addition to winning 15 of their last 20 games, the Mariners have won six series in a row, a streak pulling them second behind Texas in the American League West.

Ichiro is the quintessential professional and a role model for anyone seeking a ranking place in global leadership. And that includes YOU.

All the best,

Warren J. Devalier

post-script—I`ll post an iPhoto video of Ichiro in the next few days.

©2011 Warren J. Devalier