Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Raw Japan:

Ichiro: Japan’s greatest sporting export

Japan’s Ichiro Suzuki underlined his position as his country’s greatest sporting export after shattering one of Major League Baseball’s oldest records.

The Seattle Mariners outfielder was described as a "Hercules" by fellow players after becoming the first man to record 200 hits for nine straight seasons.


The 35-year-old reached the milestone with a single in the second game of a double-header against the Texas Rangers on Sunday to beat the previous mark of eight consecutive seasons set by Willie Keeler in 1901.

Ichiro himself, who left Japan for the major leagues in 2001, spoke of a "sense of liberation" after his latest MLB record, set to be marked with a commemorative stamp in his home country.