When Ichiro was three years old, his father introduced him to baseball. For seventeen years, Ichiro played the sport he loved in his home country of Japan. He became not only that country’s greatest baseball player, but its biggest celebrity of all times. Then, in 2000, he left Japan to join the Seattle Mariners. Would Ichiro be able to succeed in the world’s most challenging baseball league? Critics said no, that the Japanese player was too short, too skinny, too weak to make it in the majors. It was up to Ichiro to prove them wrong. He did so time and again, leading his team to its best season ever in his rookie year and collecting several awards along the way. Fans on both sides of the Pacific Ocean are looking forward to his performance in the 2002-2003 season.