Most Valuable (Gentleman) from Japan

Ed Zurga/AP.

Ichiro Suzuki has fans on both sides of the Pacific tuning in to watch him play.

If souls can smile, the soul of Jackie Robinson was smiling last week. Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners, a slim, swift outfielder out of Kasugai, Japan, was chosen Most Valuable Player in the American League by the Baseball Writers' Association of America—an overwhelmingly white, male group of U. S. journalists. During the 2001 season, Suzuki batted .350, garnered 242 hits, stole 56 bases and played a fine right field, showing about as good an outfield throwing arm as now exists. Newspaper accounts were busy with statistics and with reporting Suzuki's close run for the prize against Jason Giambi, a mighty...

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