Suzuki passing on holiday traditions to daughter
A's catcher creating memories in first Christmas as father
OAKLAND -- A's catcher Kurt Suzuki has been busy prepping for the 2012 season but is also using the offseason to take in moments with his wife, Renee, and baby daughter, Malia, who is enjoying her first holiday season.
Suzuki recently took some time to talk to MLB.com about the memories he's creating as a father, as well as ones he relishes from the past.
MLB.com: Where do you usually spend the holidays?
Suzuki: We usually spend it in our house here in Southern California. We used to alternate back and forth between Hawaii, but the last couple of years we've spent it here. This year, since Malia is still so young, my parents are actually flying out here, and my wife's family will be here, along with my sister and her husband.
MLB.com: What are your best memories of the holidays when you were growing up?
Suzuki: Getting the gifts, of course! The fun part I used to like is when I checked my stocking. That was my favorite -- waking up and going to see what was in my stocking. That was probably the highlight of my morning.
MLB.com: What was the best thing you ever found in your stocking?
Suzuki: Well, it wasn't in my stocking, but once I had a set of golf clubs right next to it. I was pretty excited about it. That was probably the best gift I ever got as a kid. Another good one was a boogie board, which I had wanted for a while.
MLB.com: Was there a present you always wanted but never received?
Suzuki: Well I don't want to sound like a spoiled brat. I was always a pretty simple kind of kid. There was nothing really that I wanted and never got. Growing up in Hawaii, most kids just want stuff to go to the beach with, and I was that way. Anything to do with water sports I loved -- boogie boards, surfboards, fishing poles.
MLB.com: What's the worst present you ever received?
Suzuki: The worst was clothes. Any clothes, shirts or sweatshirts. You get a sweatshirt and you would think, 'I live in Hawaii. Why do I need a sweater?' So I never got too excited when I got one. I would always act excited because I wanted to be nice, but you're always looking for that toy or that boogie board.
MLB.com: How about the best present you ever gave someone?
Suzuki: I got Renee a Louis Vuitton purse, and she had no idea I was getting it for her. We had kind of agreed upon not getting each other any really nice gifts that year, so I kind of surprised her and she was pretty excited about it. I remember her saying she really didn't need it, but she wasn't returning it.
MLB.com: What has this holiday season been like for you as a first-time dad?
Suzuki: It's been so much fun. We've been doing a lot of Christmasy stuff with her. We went and walked around a district by our house called the Christmas Light District, where all the houses have lights galore all over the place. We took Malia out for a walk in that neighborhood to look at the lights, and we got our Christmas tree with her and decorated it with her and we all put the angel on the tree kind of together. That was pretty neat. We've been creating memories, and even though she's so young and probably won't remember, it's fun doing stuff as parents that you remember doing as a kid. We also bought a bunch of Christmas books we read to her before bed.
MLB.com: How would you describe yourself as a shopper?
Suzuki: When I'm buying something for me, I'm always putting stuff back and picking it up again. I'm pretty indecisive. But it's for somebody else, I know what I want and I go in and get it.
MLB.com: Are you making any New Year's resolutions?
Suzuki: When you become a father, you want to be the best father you can be, and you want to be as a helpful as you can. I want to help Renee with everything because it can get a little overwhelming at times. I just want to try to be as happy as I can, try to enjoy life a little more and not worry about the small stuff.