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December 5, 2020

Baseball legend Ichiro makes brief amateur coaching debut at elite Japan high school

WAKAYAMA December 5, 2020 (Mainichi Japan) -- Japan baseball icon Ichiro Suzuki, 47, who made his name with the Orix Buffaloes at home and the Seattle Mariners in the U.S. major leagues, made his debut as an amateur coach teaching high school baseball in this western Japan city on Dec. 4.


The star athlete, commonly known as Ichiro, was seen training at Chiben Gakuen Wakayama Senior High School, well known for its baseball prowess. The school has made 38 appearances at spring and summer tournaments held at Koshien Stadium, including one spring tournament win and two summer victories.

The position marks the first time for Ichiro to coach since February, when he began renewing his coaching qualification for amateur baseball players, an essential document for teaching high schoolers and university students. He served in a part-time basis at the school from Dec. 2 for three days.

At the school, Ichiro observed the students' play on the first day, and began instructing them on the second day. On the final third day, he gave them a display of his batting.

At the commemorative address for the 73rd annual newspaper convention on Nov. 26 in the western Japan city of Kobe, Ichiro said, "In the major leagues now, they're competing to see how far they can hit the ball, that kind of thing; you can't call it baseball." He added, "high school baseball is really interesting. I'm interested in the baseball played by athletes before they turn pro. I can still perform, so I thought I could with them."

(PHOTO: Japan baseball legend Ichiro is seen teaching base-running techniques to students at Gakuen Wakayama Senior High School, in Wakayama on Dec. 4, 2020.)