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By Compiled from wire service reports by Robert Kilborn and Ross Atkin / October 5, 2004



Ah, there you are

It's scorching hot this time of year in southeastern Iran, with temperatures commonly well into the 90s F. So when the family and neighbors of Ali Esfandiapour realized he had been missing for hours early last week, they worried and organized a search party. Happily, they discovered his footprints and followed until finding him almost 5-1/2 miles from home, resting safely in an irrigation ditch. Remarkable? Yes, considering that Ali won't be 2 for four more months.

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Just leave it to me

If you're ever in Shanghai, China, and need to have your rental car towed, the man to call is Li Jianhua. Just last Friday, for instance, he moved a two-ton van 65-1/2 feet via a cable attached to ... his right ear. As you may imagine, cameras were recording the feat because he needed documentation to reclaim his former listing in - of course - the Guinness Book of World Records.

Baseball's newest master of hitting where they ain't

Despite playing for the last-place Seattle Mariners, Japanese outfielder Ichiro Suzuki won the American League batting title with a .372 average and broke the major league record for hits in one season, set by George Sisler in 1920, when there were 154 games. Today, there are 162. Suzuki, however, accomplished his feat in the era of specialized relief pitchers. The top single-season hitters, with with year, team, and total hits:

1. Ichiro Suzuki 262 Seattle Mariners, 2004
2. George Sisler 257St. Louis Browns, 1920
3. Bill Terry 254 New York Giants, 1930 (tie) Lefty O'Doul Philadelphia Phillies, 1929
5. Al Simmons 253 Philadelphia Athletics, 1925
6. Ichiro Suzuki 252 Seattle, 2004
7. Rogers Hornsby 250 St. Louis Cardinals, 1922 (tie) Chuck Klein Philadelphia Phillies, 1930
9. Ty Cobb 248 Detroit Tigers, 1911
10. George Sisler 246 St. Louis Browns, 1922

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