"There were a lot of Asian players from Japan, but not really Asian American players"

MLB star Kurt Suzuki has shared his views about Japanese culture and Asian American culture.

As reported by MLB, Atlanta Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki has discussed how Japanese culture and Asian American culture vary.

Growing up, Suzuki said there were not many Asian American baseball players when he was growing up. “There were a lot of Asian players from Japan, but not really Asian American players,” he said.

When asked if there was now an Asian American community in baseball, Suzuki said there was not enough. However, hanging out with Don Wakamatsu was a highlight for him. “He was my bench coach in Oakland — it was pretty cool to have both of us,” he said. “We’d talk all the time, we’d go out to breakfast … we’d talk about the culture and things like that. He was a brilliant man.”

Suzuki also discussed his relationship with Shane Komine, the first Hawaiian battery in MLB history. “He was in Oakland,” said Suzuki. “He went to Nebraska. He was, you know, Mr. Everything in college, and we ended up playing in the same game. And he still lives in Hawaii, in Maui, now, so we see each other in the offseason.”

Suzuki was also asked if he felt there was a difference between Japanese culture and Asian American culture. “I think to a point,” he replied. “Because you’re so into the American culture and obviously the culture in Japan is very different. You have a blend of Japanese culture and American culture whereas the Japanese who come over have solely Japanese culture.

“For Japanese players who come over, it’s so easy to adapt because there are a lot of Asians around the United States, it could be easier for them to adapt.”

 

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