|Washington Nationals – No. 24|
October 4, 1983 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|June 12, 2007 for the Oakland Athletics|
(through May 12, 2013)
|Runs batted in||336|
|Career highlights and awards|
Kurtis Kiyoshi "Kurt" Suzuki (born October 4, 1983), sometimes referred to as "The Hawaiian Lion " is an American professional baseball player. A catcher, Suzuki plays in Major League Baseball for the Washington Nationals. He previously played for the Oakland Athletics. Prior to playing professionally, Suzuki attended Cal State Fullerton and won the Johnny Bench Award and Brooks Wallace Award.
College career 
Suzuki attended California State University, Fullerton, where he played college baseball for the Cal State Fullerton Titans baseball team. Cal State Fullerton captured the 2004 College World Series championship, thanks to Suzuki's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Titans a 3-2 win over the Texas Longhorns.
That same year, he won the Johnny Bench Award as the country's top collegiate catcher. He was also selected All-American by two publications, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. He was also the recipient of the first ever Brooks Wallace Award.
Professional career 
Suzuki is regarded as a solid defender. The Athletics drafted Suzuki in the second round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft and assigned him to the Single-A Vancouver Canadians, where he batted .297 and committed just one error in 46 games.
His first full season of professional baseball came in 2005, with another Single-A team, the Stockton Ports. Playing in 114 games, Suzuki put up a .277 average, 12 home runs, 65 RBIs and a .440 slugging percentage.
He began the 2007 season with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats. He joined the major league club on June 9, 2007 after rarely used catcher Adam Melhuse was traded to the Texas Rangers and made his debut three days later as a pinch hitter in a game against the Houston Astros.
He served as backup to veteran Jason Kendall until Kendall was traded to the Chicago Cubs on July 16, making Suzuki the Athletics everyday catcher. On July 17, 2007, pitcher Shane Komine got into a game in the 8th inning against the Texas Rangers with Suzuki doing the catching. This marked the first time in major league baseball history that there was a battery where both players were from Hawaii.
For the 2008 season, Suzuki was the starting catcher while Rob Bowen served as back-up. In the first 20 regular season games, Suzuki started 18. He ended the season with a .279 batting average in 148 games.
During the 2009 season, Suzuki had a career high 15 home runs, and 88 RBIs, and batted .274 in 147 games. Suzuki lead the A's in RBIs, and became only the second catcher in the franchise's history to do so. He also lead the team in hits (156), doubles (37) and total bases (240) and was second in home runs and runs scored behind teammate Jack Cust.
On July 23, 2010, Kurt signed a four-year extension with the Oakland Athletics, estimated to be worth $16.25 million.
Washington Nationals 
Playing Style 
Suzuki is known for his durability, good defense and all-around solid hitting. He has very quick reflexes behind the plate and even has some speed on the basepaths, rare for a catcher.
Kurt and his wife Renee Suzuki (along with Orlando and Katie Cabrera) have helped out a former Titan catcher Jon Wilhite who was severely injured in a 2009 car crash that rocked MLB and Cal State Fullerton. Suzuki has a baby daughter, whose birth caused him to take a brief paternity leave in April 2011.
Suzuki learned the art of catching from his uncle, Clint Ostahki.
- Kilgore, Adam (4 March 2013). The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/03/04/what-kurt-suzuki-looks-for-when-he-prepares-for-an-opponent/
|url=missing title (help). Retrieved 2 April 2013.
- "USATODAY.com - Suzuki saluted with major award". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. 2004-09-16. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
- Sherrington, Kevin (October 24, 2004). "Memories get refreshed: New college award honors shortstop no one forgot". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 2, 2013. (subscription required)
- "Boxscore: Oakland vs. Houston - June 12, 2007 | oaklandathletics.com: News". Oakland.athletics.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
- "Melhuse traded to Texas | oaklandathletics.com: News". Oakland.athletics.mlb.com. 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
- "Major League Baseball Stats | oaklandathletics.com: Stats". Oakland.athletics.mlb.com. 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
- Nationals Press Release (August 3, 2012). "Nationals acquire catcher Kurt Suzuki from Athletics". MLB.com.
- July 19, 2009 (2009-07-19). "Jon Wilhite doesn't take life for granted". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-04-02. Text "BILL SHAIKIN " ignored (help)
- "Kurt Suzuki back after birth of daughter". Sports.espn.go.com. 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
||This section has an unclear citation style. (December 2009)|
- 2005 Oakland Athletics Media Guide. Pg. 374. Produced by the Oakland Athletics Public Relations Department.
- 2006 Oakland Athletics Media Guide. Pg. 215. Produced by the Oakland Athletics Public Relations Department.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Kurt Suzuki|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Kurt Suzuki on Twitter
- BaseballAmerica.com: 2006 Player Statistics: Kurt Suzuki