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Jay Ward's Sports Column

     Ichiro Suzuki became the 30th player in major league history to smack 3,000 career base hits in July of 2016, but he was just the fourth non-U.S. hitter to reach the milestone. Can you name the other three? They were Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico), Rod Carew (Panama) and Rafael Palmeiro (Cuba). Ichiro, who posted at least 200 hits in a record 10 straight seasons, was older than all the other members of the 3,000-hit club when he began his big-league career at age 27. The next oldest was Wade Boggs as 24.

     When Robert Griffin III opened the season as Cleveland’s starting quarterback in Philadelphia, he became the 25th QB to start a game for the Browns since 1999. To give an idea of how long Cleveland's quest for a quarterback has gone on, third on that list was Doug Pederson with eight starts in 2000 — the same Doug Peterson who made his debut as head coach of the Eagles when they crushed RG III and the Browns in the 2016 season opener.

     The winningest Olympic athlete of all time paid a pretty price for his medals at the 2016 games in Rio. The U.S. Olympic Committee awarded $25,000 for each gold medal, $15,000 for each silver and $10,000 for each bronze. With five golds and one silver, swimmer Michael Phelps owed $55,440 in income tax. By the way, a landmark 1995 psychological study showed that bronze medal winners are happier than sliver medal winners because with silver, the gold is painfully close, while with bronze, a medal of any kind feels better than no medal at all.

Jay Ward
jayward@wardlumber.com

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