Ian Kinsler makes history with his 15th leadoff home run.
by Mizuno USA on April 4, 2011
The Texas Rangers’ offense is off to a good start early in the 2011 season and second baseman Ian Kinsler’s bat has been a large part of that success. With his home run on April 2nd, he became the first player in the major leagues to hit leadoff home runs in the first two games of the season. The Star-Telegram has a nice profile of the Rangers’ fast start here.
Stacy Lewis On The Golf Channel's "Morning Drive"
by Iver Maple on April 20, 2011
Fresh of her major victory at the Kraft Nabisco, Mizuno Brand Ambassador Stacy Lewis was a guest on the Golf Channel's "Morning Drive". Hosts Erik Kuselias and Gary Williams talk to Stacy about what it was like to not only win her first LPGA tournament, but her first major over the #1 player in the world, as well as her charitable efforts for Scoliosis research, an affliction she had to overcome as a youth.
Check out video of Stacy's appearance on the Morning Drive by clicking the link below. There are also links to two other appearances Stacy made on the Golf Channel this week, including a tip on how to drive the ball long and consistent off the tee.
Mizuno MLB Ambassador of the Week: Chad Billingsley
by Mizuno USA on April 20, 2011
Prior to Sunday's series finale with the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals, Mizuno Brand Ambassador Chad Billingsley was tasked with being the "stopper" for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Billingsley stepped up to the challenge and fired eight scoreless innings against the Redbirds, allowing just two hits and striking out 11 hitters in the process. The Dodgers were unable to score any runs until the bottom of the ninth inning, so Billingsley was left with a no-decision, but this was clearly his best performance of the season.
Billingsley plays with the Mizuno Pro Limited Ball Glove, and wears Mizuno's 9-Spike Cleated Footwear.
Mizuno MLB Ambassador of the Week: Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals
by Mizuno USA on April 13, 2011
The Kansas City Royals are off to a 6-3 start in the 2011 season. A great deal of their early success is due to the hot bat of Mizuno Brand Ambassador Billy Butler. He is riding an eight game hit streak, including a 9-for-18 (.500) performance last week, as the Royals went 3-2, including a road series win over the Detroit Tigers. Butler smacked two doubles, hit a home run, and drove in four runs on the week.
Q/A with Stacy Lewis
by Iver Maple on April 3, 2011
Q: What was it like competing against Michelle Wie in Q-School?
A: There was a lot of pressure and coverage. There were even bleachers and stands, for LPGA Q-School! To have all that attention was fun, but truthfully it was great to have it over with and get on to the tour.
Q: What was it like leading the field in your first US Open?
A: The US Open was surreal. I played okay the first two days, and then all of a sudden my putter catches fire and I'm leading. It happened so fast! Each day, after I finished playing I would go through my warm-down practice routine. But after my third round 67 I did a bunch of interviews and just wanted to get out of there. I didn't do what I'd been doing to get into that position. It wasn't clear at the time that it had an big effect, but looking back I feel that it did. I wish I'd just hit a few and calmed down a little bit.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
A: Three years after I started playing, I found out that I had scoliosis. Over the next seven years, I wore a corrective body brace for 18 hours a day. The only time I was allowed out of it was to play golf! Maybe that’s why I love it so much—it was a relief. When I was 18, I had a spinal fusion operation and was told that I might never play again. There is now a rod and five screws in my back. And when my doctor found out that I played golf competitively, he conducted the surgery a little differently so that I could retain more rotation in my swing. The recovery was the worst pain I’ve ever imagined, but going through that ordeal made me tougher mentally. It gave me a new appreciation of what I’m able to do. It didn’t matter how I played, I was just excited to be out there at all, and that made me a better player.
Q: How did you select Mizuno?
A: I just have found that they set up well to my eye. They’re consistent, and I love their fit and feel. Mizuno’s drivers just look better to me than most—and I can really control my shots with them. Many pros go straight for a blade, but if I can hit the same types of shots with a cavity back, I’ll go for that every time. And with my Mizunos, I can still shape the ball just fine.
Mizuno MLB Ambassador of the Week: Ian Kinsler
by Mizuno USA on April 5, 2011
Mizuno Brand Ambassador Ian Kinsler is off to a blazing start in the 2011 season. The defending American League Champion Texas Rangers swept the Boston Red Sox, the AL East favorites, over the weekend. Kinsler has four hits in the series, including three home runs, as the Rangers picked up where they left off in 2010. He led off the season, as well as the second game of the year, with a home run, becoming the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to accomplish such a feat. Kinsler homered in the third game on the year as well, becoming just the fourth player in franchise history to hit a home run in the first three games of the season.
Kinsler plays with the following Mizuno equipment:
Global Elite Series Batting Gloves
Vintage G5 Cleats
Mizuno Brand Ambassador Ichiro Suzuki Sets Mariners' Hit Record
by Mizuno USA on April 5, 2011
Mizuno would like to congratulate Brand Ambassador Ichiro Suzuki for breaking the Mariners' all time franchise hit record. On Saturday, April 2nd against the Oakland A's, Ichiro recorded two infield singles, which put him at 2,248 total hits, one past Edgar Martinez.
This latest milestone came in a winning effort, as the Mariners defeated the A's 5-2. Ichiro also holds the Seattle franchise record for stolen bases (386), triples (71), and career batting average (.331). This is his 11th season with Seattle, where he has successfully had 200+ hits each year, including 2004, when he set the single season record with 262 hits.
Stacy Lewis Wins Season’s First Major
by Iver Maple on April 4, 2011
Stacy captured her first LPGA tour victory in style. It was the first major of the year and she defeated the number-one ranked player in the world while doing it. At the Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, California, Lewis proved that power is alive and well on the PGA Tour by averaging over 280 yards per drive with her JPX-800 driver and proficiently utilizing her new JPX-800 PRO irons, Mizuno fairway wood, hybrid, and MP T-11 wedges.
Stacy was dominant in the final round, erasing an early two-stroke deficit to tournament champion and world #1, Yani Tseng. She went “yard for yard” with Tseng, as she was able to battle gusty wind conditions with long and precise iron play with her JPX-800 PROS, which she put in her bag for the first time just before the tournament. Lewis punctuated an incredible back nine by making an improbable 20-foot par putt on the 17th, virtually sealing the victory.
Stacy Lewis is now officially one of the brightest young stars on the LPGA Tour, and with her unmatched iron play, length off the tee, and amazing short game, she is truly the complete package.
Mizuno Brand Ambassador Cory Bartlett Gets First Career Win at LMU
by Barbara Mitchell on April 4, 2011
Lincoln Memorial University's Cory Bartlett took medalist honors for the first time in his career with a scorching 67–70=137(-7), which was eight strokes better than teammate Eric Kennedy.
HARROGATE, TN - Only days after rolling over the competition in the Cherokee Valley Invitational that was hosted by North Greenville University, the Lincoln Memorial University men's golf team received a no. 29 national ranking in the latest Golfstat poll released earlier this week.
While this past week's win at the Cherokee Valley Invitational is the Railsplitter's first tournament championship of the 2011 spring season, including this week's win, the LMU men have finished inside the top-5 in five of the eight tournaments in which they have participated this season. Furthermore, their efforts have also helped the LMU men's golf program earn a no. 10 regional ranking by the NCAA.
This week the Railsplitters participate in the Tennessee State University Big Blue Intercollegiate to be held at Kings Creek Golf Course in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The tournament will be the Railsplitter's final outing before the upcoming 2011 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championship that will take place April 11th & 12th at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover, North Carolina.
What’s in Cory's Bag
Driver - Mizuno MP 630 9.5 degree Fubuki Stiff Shaft
Woods - MP titanium 3 woods 15 degree Fubuki Stiff Shaft
Irons 3-6 - MP 57 Dynamic Gold Stiff
Irons 7-pw - Mp 67 Dynamic Gold Stiff
Wedges - MP T11 52 degree and 58 degree
Putter - Mizuno Bettinardi BC3 BC-3 Black Carbon 32 inches
Ball - Titlist Pro V1x
National Pro Fastpitch Association conducts internet scavenger hunt
Mizuno participates in the National Pro Fastpitch Association scavenger hunt. Check our website on a montly basis for your new scavenger hunt piece and link to the National Pro Fastpitch Association's Facebook page to play.
Yahoo! Sports Recommends Two Mizuno Prospect Series Ball Gloves
by Mizuno USA on March 21, 2011
Yahoo! Sports recently published a feature story on "Gloves to consider buying for your little leaguer", in which the Mizuno Prospect GPT1175 and Prospect GPP901 Ball Gloves were included. Both of these top-selling youth models have full write-ups that highlight the various technologies, including ParaShock palm pad, V-Flex Notch, and PowerClose.
Here is what Yahoo! Sports has to say about the Mizuno Prospect Series GPT1175 Ball Glove:
"This 11.75 inch-youth baseball glove comes in a classic color combination black and brown. Perfect for ages 9-13, this glove from Mizuno, one of the leading sports brands out there, features a ParaShock palm pad, which cushions your young adult's hand from being bruised or hurt by repeated catching of a baseball.
The Prospect GPT1175 Youth Baseball Glove also features Mizuno's V-Flex Notch, which makes it easier for youngsters to catch the ball and have it stay in their glove. The glove's webbing is also closed so the ball can be hidden from the opponent's eyes-a great feature for young pitchers."
Here is what Yahoo! Sports has to say about the Mizuno Prospect Series GPP901 Ball Glove:
Speaking of training young beginners in baseball, this youth baseball glove from Mizuno is another great item that will benefit a young baseball player in his or her early years of training and discovering their love for the game of baseball. At 9 inches, this glove is perfect for young players aged 8 year old and below (some consumers even bought it for their 4-year-old kids).
It looks professional and is professionally made by Mizuno, but it also isn't too hard to break in, which can be a challenge for younger players. Similar to the Mizuno Prospect GPT1175, this glove has a ParaShock palm pad to protect a young one's palm from "shock" in repeatedly catching a baseball, as well as Mizuno V-Flex Notch, which makes it easier for young ones to catch the ball. This glove also has PowerClose technology, making it easier for young ones to close the glove once they've caught the ball. All in all, a great beginner's glove."
Here is a link to the Mizuno Prospect Series Ball Gloves from Yahoo! Sports.
Jiyai Shin Joins Mizuno on JLPGA Tour
by Iver Maple on March 21, 2011
Mizuno Japan recently announced an official equipment contract with Jiyai Shin of Korea – currently 2nd on the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.
Shin broke all existing KLPGA records in 2007, winning 10 events in 19 starts. In 2008 she won the Women's British Open and the ADT Championship, and by 2009 was the LPGA’s leading money winner. Shin was ranked #1 in the Women's World Golf Rankings during 2010 – winning the Mizuno Classic along the way.
Shin has played Mizuno equipment without contract since March 2010 and will continue with her current set up – MP Craft Driver, MP Titanium fairway woods, MP CLK hybrid, MP-53 irons and MP T-11 wedges. The deal includes a Mizuno logo on the side of her headwear. Shin will also be active in Mizuno’s golf club development.
Shin commented: “I am excited to have signed a contract with Mizuno. The excellence of Mizuno clubs, and their service on tour helped me to embrace this agreement. The fact that I can rely greatly on them means a lot.”
Three Mizuno Irons Receive High Praise In GOLF Magazine's Club Test 2011
by Iver Maple on March 21, 2011
GOLF Magazine, a Sports Illustrated publication, has published their ClubTest 2011, in which three of Mizuno's irons, the JPX-800s, JPX-800 Pros, and MP-53s, are prominently featured. Each iron is pictured in the magazine, along with pricing information, and a web reference to the Mizuno page on GOLF.com's website. GOLF Magazine provides an extensive review in a variety of categories, including playability, accuracy/forgiveness, distance control, feel, and look, while highlighting the various Mizuno technologies within the clubs. All three of these high performance irons received excellent feedback from the review.
Here are some of the highlights from GOLF Magazine's ClubTest2011:
"The feel at impact is smooth and soft, with excellent stability on all shots."
"One of the highest-rated irons in the test. Provides plenty of distance, feel and control with a classic look."
"Potentially the most workable irons in the test...very good performers from a variety of lies."
"Quite good at preserving distance on mis-hits and very accurate on solid strikes."
"Longer than average..."
"...very good sensation on greenside shots."
"...handsome blue badge."
Mizuno JPX-800 Pro:
"With a great feel comes great forgiveness-a winning combo. The best Mizuno irons I've tried at ClubTest."
"One of the best iron models in its class. It scores high marks for playability, distance control and feel."
"...strong, steady performer from all types of lies."
"Deadly accurate short irons; covers for mis-hits better than standard forgings."
"Solid shots deliver above-average length; off-center hits don't lose much, either."
"Several guys find the smooth, soft feel to be the gold standard; solid contact provides Tour-like feel."
"Attractive-looking, slightly oversize head; the full cavity tells you that help is here if you need it."
"The MP-53 possesses more "game improvement" qualities than any other MP irons."
"A good option for shotmakers-distinct ability to shape shots..."
"Forgiveness aplenty with unexpected distance on slight mis-hits..."
"Pure shots generate one-half club extra length."
"Thick, beefy look in scoring irons; thinnish topline does a nice job of masking the slightly leader head."
Donald And Howell Score Top-10 Finishes At The Honda
by Iver Maple on March 7, 2011
Mizuno Brand Ambassadors Luke Donald and Charles Howell III both delivered solid Top-10 performances at the Honda Classic, PGA National Championship Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Following up his record-breaking victory at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship, Luke Donald shot 73-68-72-66 to finish at -1 for the tournament and a T-10 finish. Howell was in contention for most of the weekend, firing rounds of 71-71-67-70 to also finish inside the Top 10.
Charles Howell III relies on the JPX-800 PRO irons and his MP T-11 wedges with Quad Cut Groove Technology, while Luke arms himself with his Grain Flow Forged MP irons, Mizuno hybrid and MP T-11 wedges.
LPGA.com "Catches Up" With Stacy Lewis
by Iver Maple on March 7, 2011
Mizuno Brand Ambassador Stacy Lewis is currently the focus of LPGA.com's "Catching Up With" feature in which they have a Q&A session with the LPGA's top stars. Stacy reflects on her 2010 season, talks about her off season and how she has prepared for her upcoming 2011 season.
Check out what Stacy had to say here.
Luke Donald Captures WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
by Iver Maple on February 27, 2011
Record-Breaking Performance Moves Donald to Number Three in World Ranking
Luke Donald captured the most significant victory of his career in record-breaking fashion, defeating the number-one-ranked player in the world, Martin Kaymer at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, Arizona. Donald proved that precision often trumps power, as he skillfully utilized his Grain Flow Forged MP irons, MP T-11 wedges, and Mizuno hybrid to score 32 birdies over 89 holes – a total no one else could match.
Donald was dominant, never trailing throughout his six matches and needing only 73 holes to reach the final, breaking Tiger Woods’ match play record of 77 holes. Donald defeated Charley Hoffman, Edoardo Molinari, Matteo Manassero, Ryan Moore and Matt Kuchar before defeating Kaymer three-and-two. Donald was so dominant throughout the week that he never trailed in any match, and he never played the 18th hole.
We congratulate Luke on this record-breaking performance and his climb up the World Golf rankings. Luke is rolling, now #3 in the world, and we can’t wait to see what else is in store for him in 2011.
Does Mizuno test its Fastpitch equipment with real athletes before it goes into the market?
by Mizuno USA on December 1, 2010
We test our products with some of the best athletes in the game. The insights and continuous feedback from Team USA superstars Jennie Finch and Natasha Watley are invaluable to us!
Jennie Finch Expecting Second Child
by Jennie Finch on January 10, 2011
“She recently retired from professional softball to focus on family – and Jennie Finch has decided to expand hers. The Olympian and husband Casey Daigle are expecting their second child in late June, the softball star tells PEOPLE exclusively. The new baby will join big brother Ace Shane, 4½.”
Read the entire article on People.com. credit: Sarah Michaud for People Magazine
At Capitol Hill Support Physical Fitness
by Jennie Finch on March 15, 2010
Last week I joined an incredible list of athletes and the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Assoc. for National Health through Fitness day. Our goal was to try to gain support for the Physical Education Bill. Thank you Mizuno for being so actively involved and allowing me to be a part of raising awareness for a great cause.
It was my 2nd time meeting with Congressmen & Women and Senators in our Capitol. The first time was with the Women’s Sports Foundation trying to get support to keep Title IX alive. This time it was quite similar except the atmosphere was much more intense due to the state of the economy & health care.
Overall it was a huge success, we were able in the meetings state our concern for keeping Physical Education in Schools. I learned some pretty amazing facts preparing for our tour.
-Schools are now being built with out play grounds and gymnasiums
-1/3 of our country is Obese & another 1/3 is Overweight
-Kids are 3-4 times more likely to play sports if they are introduced to PE in school
-Kids test scores are higher when involved in sports
-It costs $746 dollars per 1,000 kids to participate in PE, around 75 cents a kid. A math book averages $7 dollars a kid and some kids have a set of 2, 1 for home and 1 for school. Yet we are cutting PE?
-For every $1 spent on PE the return is $3.20 long term (health bills & etc)
It is crucial we get our young kids active! I cannot express the importance of this. It is prevention, prevention of diabetes, obesity, self esteem, confidence, and so much more! We have to make it a point and invest in the future of this Country! So many skills from the classroom can be taught through PE, math, problem solving, and etc. We need to be creative and keep our kids moving! Kids aren’t safe hanging in the neighborhood anymore, playing til the street lights come on. Most kids stay inside after school are on the computer or playing video games. Parents I want to encourage you to make it a point to join your kids and help them be active. Technology & Electronics have blessed us in so many ways but have cursed us in so many ways also. We have to unite and take a stand to help our kids, they are our future!
Trust me as a mom I know how TV and electronics simplify our lives and I too have to make a point to turn it off! So many times I find myself missing out on interacting with Ace because of electronics consuming him. We’ve been going on bike rides the last couple weeks and exploring the outdoors together, it has been so enjoyable! We love going to the playground too, meeting new people and playing outside. Let’s all join in, get moving & get active!
It was so uplifting meeting so many in the Sporting Goods Industry and on Capitol Hill that are actively supporting this cause and trying to make a difference! I was honored to be a part of National Health Through Fitness Day! Let’s all try to do our part and get our kids outside, active, and eating a more healthy balanced diet.
Dreaming & Believing in a brighter future!
Our Sport, Softball
by Jennie Finch on February 11, 2011
We all have been so blessed to see our game of softball explode over the last couple decades! On the International Level, Professional Level, Collegiate Level, High School Level, and at the Grass Root Level. I have been beyond blessed to be a part of our game at all of these levels, watching the legends of our game play and playing along side them. We as past players/current players want only to keep this progression going and continue to provide more and more opportunity for the millions of young girls playing our game all over the world. Now that I am retired I hope to have even more opportunity to help and assist with this movement. It is an exciting and crucial time for our sport.
We all know our biggest setback occurred following the 2008 Olympics with our sport sadly being removed from the Olympics. As hard as it still is to say those words, we must move on. We must continue to climb the mountain and leap over the hurdles just as those before us have. We are forced to move forward and find a way to continue to gain momentum and growth.
I have had the honor of playing with many incredible amazing women both internationally and professionally. Many of them still continue to play, and are tremendous representatives of our game. With the National Pro Fastpitch League growing and becoming more and more established many of our game’s greatest players have been forced into a tough decision. Unfortunately, it has been made impossible to play both USA Softball and in the NPF. My heart hurts thinking that our game’s best players will not be wearing USA this summer. I know how much it means to wear USA across your chest and I know how much pride, blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifice each one of these players have put in to wear USA. As hard as it was for them to make the decision to choose between USA and the NPF, I know each and every one of them ONLY want what is BEST for the SPORT and the FUTURE. I have the utmost respect for these core players and I know our game is in great hands! These players Watley, Mendoza, Osterman, Lappin, Lowe, Duran, Abbott, Galindo, & many more have an incredible opportunity to continue our game’s growth in many different arenas.
I know it will not be the same to watch Team USA this summer but I am excited for the opportunity for many young women to live out their dream of wearing the Red, White, & Blue. I am excited for the future of the National Pro Fastpitch League to explode now that it has the commitment of the most established players in our sport. Its tough to have a Professional League without the game’s best players… Don’t get me wrong–many of our game’s greatest players are in the NPF, the talent level is the best in world! It has always been a struggle for the league to not have the USA players in an NPF uniform! I look forward to an even better, stronger NPF than we have ever seen. I look forward to many new faces getting the chance to travel the world and represent USA and carry on the many great traditions internationally.
Overall this is a incredible time for our sport. A time of building, growing, providing more and more opportunity within our great game. I want to commend and honor the truly amazing Veterans of our sport who have had to make this very tough decision. I am your biggest fan and have nothing but great respect for each and every one of you. You and the many others within our game are carrying the torch and will continue to do remarkable things. For this I know! Thank YOU for your dedication, love for our game, immeasurable sacrifices, and being You! To Watley, Mendoza, Osterman, Lappin, Lowe, Duran, Abbott, Galindo, and many more, I love each of you like a sister and will be your biggest supporter whenever you are on or off the field, in the Japan Softball League, in the NPF, or in Red, White, & Blue. Thank you for your commitment to our sport; keep doing great things! I can’t wait to see you in all back in Uniform.
As fans what can we do? We can SUPPORT these women and our sport! Go watch these women play, we have to put our money where our mouth is. We have to fill seats. We have to truly support our sport. When our sport is on TV, we must tune in. We must support the sponsors and companies who support our game. The owners of the NPF have invested a ton of money for the NPF to continue. Please come out and watch the best softball in the world!
Here are the websites
Thank you to all who have supported, played, invested, and love our game. Here’s to a better than ever year- 2011!
Dreaming & Believing in a Bright Future for Our Sport, Softball!
How long has Mizuno made baseball equipment?
by Mizuno USA on December 10, 2010
Mizuno has a long legacy of making high-quality performance baseball equipment. Since our founding in 1906, we've manufactured some of the sport's best gear, and helped promote the sport of baseball around the world.
Is it important to match my ball glove to the position I play?
by Mizuno USA on November 23, 2010
Yes! Each position requires different glove attributes. While it really comes down to personal preference, traditionally, the length of the glove's webbing is matched to each position (typically longer webs are for outfielder gloves while shorter webs are for infield positions).