Ichiro Suzuki: Buddhist Baseball Player

Combining his years in Japan and America, Ichiro has the most all-time career hits of any professional baseball player. Could his discipline and playing style be due to his Buddhist background?

In an era of home run hitters literally on steroids, Ichiro was a high achiever with a humble heart who put his team before himself. That seems very Buddhist to me.

Ichiro naming his dog after Zen master Ikkyu is cool too.

As the old koan goes, does a dog have Buddha-nature?

Ichiro said in an interview, after surpassing Pete Rose’s record for career hits in professional baseball, that he would be a fool to brag about his achievements.

The 2001 Mariners still have the record for most wins in a season, largely thanks to Ichiro, and his hits record of 262 in 2004 is also unsurpassed.

I am not really a sports fan, but I would like to take his example of hard work and humility to heart. When critics thought he was too small for American leagues, he proved them all wrong and never gloated about it.


I’m from the Seattle area and watched Ichiro play growing up. He was so fast, he could get a base hit from a routine grounder or bunt. He certainly has good situational mindfulness.

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Bill Clinton is a buddhist ?

I honestly doubt it. Ichiro is someone one can look at as being influenced by the Buddha’s teachings in his public life.