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For the first time in major league history, a Japanese player, Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, was named the Most Valuable Player in the American League on Tuesday.

Suzuki, 28, who also won the AL Rookie of the Year award, narrowly beat out last year’s MVP, Oakland Athletics first baseman Jason Giambi, 289 points to 281 in a vote by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Suzuki is the first player since Fred Lynn of the Boston Red Sox in 1975 to win both titles in the same season.

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