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How star baseballer's US success changed postwar Japan

Ichiro Suzuki's career helped overcome 'national inferiority complex'

TOKYO -- Ichiro Suzuki retired from professional baseball on March 21 at the Tokyo Dome, in an emotional ceremony that capped a remarkable career. Lauded by New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman as "one of the greatest baseball players the world has ever seen," he is expected to become the first Japanese player to enter the American baseball Hall of Fame.

In 19 years with the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Miami Marlins, the fleet-footed outfielder set a single season record for hits with 262 -- a mark that some say will never be broken. He achieved more than 200 hits per season for 10 seasons in a row, another all-time record, and more than 3,000 lifetime hits -- only the 30th person in the 150-year history of MLB to join that exclusive club.

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