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Ichiromania still going strong in Japan

Ichiro is back in Japan and remains the most popular player in the country.

Originally Published: November 8, 2002
By Jim Caple | ESPN.com

TOKYO -- Shigeo Nagashima, the most popular player in Japanese baseball history, stood near the ballroom stage, speaking with a handful of people at Thursday night's welcome party for the major league All-Star tour. And then Ichiro walked into the ballroom and joined Nagashima. And then someone noticed Ichiro. And then someone else noticed Ichiro. And then someone else noticed Ichiro. And pretty soon dozens were swarming Ichiro and Nagashima, pulled near them by the gravity of celebrity.

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