Baseball had been the focal point of my life until my retirement after the 2007 season. For 34 years it was my passion, my livelihood, and, at times, my reason for sleepless nights; such is the norm for all professional athletes. In my case, however, baseball added yet another, much deeper layer to my life: it became my arena for personal growth. Concepts that I had understood intellectually, through my informal study of Eastern philosophies, were suddenly emerging in my journey as a hitter. I had often read about principles such as stillness, awareness, and presence, but through baseball I came to know these principles.
This new website, in conjunction with my forthcoming book, are two of the mediums by which I will share my experiences and ideas. As this site grows, I will add video clips and post blogs that will bring you closer to the philosophies and techniques that shaped both my baseball career and my life after the game.
My breathing became rhythmic: inhaling as I put the ball on the tee, holding my breath as I got in my stance, and exhaling as I took my swing. What was happening here? My tee work had started out as a form of punishment, yet suddenly it felt like something else, something more than just a hitting exercise.
Was it becoming a meditation?
- Chapter 1: Stillness
Maybe it was a good thing for me that heavy traffic forced me to stop for a while and be still. After the long crawl through the checkpoint near Camp Pendleton, the traffic gradually thinned and the freeway began moving again. As I pressed on the accelerator, I wondered, “Where do I go from here?” Forty, fifty, sixty miles per hour…it felt good to get up to speed. After a moment, I realized that what I actually needed to do with my life was just the opposite: to go from moving faster to finding stillness again.
- Chapter 4: Ego
Today was a once in a lifetime experience, so I allowed myself to relish it. Six for six with four home runs. As I rounded third and was jogging toward home plate (and the Brewers’ dugout), I made eye contact with Sarge. I think he was trying as hard as I was to hold back a smile. The look on his face said, “Are you kidding me?” He’d been with me for two of my best years in Toronto, so he knew all of the wood chopping that had created this special moment. As I crossed home plate, Sarge gave me his signature salute. It felt good. I then made my way into the sea of high-fives in our dugout as the crowd showed their appreciation with a standing ovation.
- Chapter 6: The Zone
“The Buddha famously instructed his followers to test spiritual teachings by putting them into practice in the laboratory of their own minds and lives. Shawn Green has written a precise, instructive chronicle of just such a test, carried out to great effect over the days and seasons of his storied major league baseball career. A compelling read!”
- SHARON SALZBERG, author of REAL HAPPINESS: THE POWER OF MEDITATION
“An intimate look at Shawn’s career and how the game shaped him into who he is today. I hope that one day I’ll have the ability to similarly reflect on my own career so vividly. This book is truly excellent.”
- DAVID WRIGHT, ALL-STAR THIRD BASEMAN, NEW YORK METS
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Shawn Green’s Major League Baseball career spanned fifteen seasons with four teams: the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the New York Mets. During his baseball career, he won numerous accolades including both the American League Gold Glove Award and the Silver Slugger in ’99. He finished in the top ten of voting for league MVP three times and was named the L.A. Sportsman of the Year for his 2002 season. He was a two-time All-Star and holds several major league records, such as the most home runs in a single game with four as well as the most total bases in a single game with 19. He also holds numerous individual team records with both the Blue Jays and Dodgers, most notably the Dodgers record for home runs in a single season with 49 in 2001.
He is also well known for the professional and fan-friendly manner in which he went about his business. Like Sandy Koufax, a legendary Jewish Dodger, Shawn observed Yom Kippur by sitting out one game in each of the three years that the holiday conflicted with his team’s schedule. Young fans loved him for his ritual of throwing batting gloves into the stands after each home run. Throughout his career, he was active in countless charities and even donated close to two million of his own dollars to numerous causes, most notably the Dodgers Dream Foundation. He was the recipient of the 2001 Bart Giamatti Award, recognizing his community service. He has appeared in or been referenced by several movies, television shows, and commercials.
He retired from baseball at 34 to spend time with his wife, Lindsay, and daughters, Presley and Chandler, at their home in Southern California.
September 28, 1993 for the Toronto Blue Jays
September 30, 2007 for the New York Mets
Batting average: .282
Home runs: 328
Runs batted in: 1,071
Toronto Blue Jays (1993-1999)
Los Angeles Dodgers (2000-2004)
Arizona Diamondbacks (2005-2006)
New York Mets (2006-2007)
2x All-Star selection (1999, 2002)
Gold Glove Award winner (1999)
Silver Slugger Award winner (1999)
Hit 4 home runs in one game on May 23, 2002