As the 2017 Major League Baseball season hits the midsummer classic point, it's worth a look at some of the most compelling storylines of the summer.
The first one that stands out is the emergence of Aaron Judge as possibly a generational slugger for the New York Yankees, bringing the Bronx Bombers back to prominence this year.
Along with the Houston Astros in the American League, those have been what you should have been keeping your eye on so far.
In the National League, it looks like a three-horse race for supremacy, as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals are having a great season. It remains to be seen if the Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks have staying power, while one assumes the Chicago Cubs will get it together soon to join L.A. and the Nats as N.L. superpowers.
However, baseball fans should probably be doing a better job keeping an eye on Ichiro Suzuki.
The Japanese sensation is wrapping up a brilliant career, now as a member of the Miami Marlins.
At 43, he says he still wants to play longer than just this season.
Well, whenever his career eventually ends, it's already an all-timer.
Here's another honor for his Hall of Fame plaque: The all-time hits leader for a foreign-born player.
Ichiro's two hits on Thursday night against the St. Louis Cardinals moved him into first place on the list, passing former Los Angeles Angels star Rod Carew.
Ichiro now has 3,054 career hits in MLB, one ahead of Carew, who was born in Panama. The Japanese legend is now 23rd on the all-time MLB list, but that undersells his career quite a bit, as the outfielder did not start playing in the United States until he was 27 years old and already an established star in Japan's professional league.
He collected another 1,278 hits in Japan, giving him a career total of 4,330. That's more than the all-time MLB Hit King Pete Rose, who retired with 4.256 hits. Even without including his Japan totals, Ichiro might have time to still reach Rose, as he has said he wants to play until he's 50.
The former Seattle Mariners star, who also played a brief stint with the New York Yankees, is in his 17th MLB season. He has played 2,572 regular-season games, and has had 9,797 at-bats, for a career batting average of .312.
Next up on the career hits list for Ichiro is former leadoff hitter Rickey Henderson, who is 22nd all-time with 3,055 hits.News Now - Sport News