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Japanese-born big-leaguer Ichiro Suzuki is one of the best hitters in baseball. He has led the Major Leagues in regular season hits on seven occasions.

To state the obvious, you hit a baseball with a bat. Ichiro Suzuki seems to be more aware of that obvious fact than other baseball players, because he treats his bats as if they were Stradivarius violins.

The Mizuno sports equipment company custom-makes Suzuki's bats for him by hand from Tamo wood grown on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Suzuki doesn't throw his black bats in a canvas bag like many other ball players. Instead, he keeps eight bats in a custom-made suitcase that is shockproof and moisture-free. Inside the dehumidifying case with the bats are two bags of pellets that absorb moisture.

Suzuki cares for and respects his bats as though his life depended on them, and indeed his livelihood does depend on them.

In a much greater way, God tells us to take care of his Words, to have great respect for them. We are to honor his Words by reading them, meditating on them, memorizing them, discussing them with others, hearing them taught, believing them, and most important of all, obeying them. For God's Words are our life.

{Source: David Waldstein, "For Suzuki, Respect for Bats Is Key to Hitting," N. Y. Times (9-24-12)}

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