Posted August 21, 2013

Watch: Ichiro collects his 4,000th hit

Ichiro Suzuki, New York Yankees
Ichiro Suzuki got his 4,000th hit against R.A. Dickey on Wednesday. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Ichiro Suzuki got his 4,000th hit against R.A. Dickey on Wednesday. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

On Wednesday night, the Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki made history of a sort, becoming the first player to collect a combined 4,000 hits between the major leagues in Japan and the United States. Suzuki collected 1,278 during his seven full seasons (1994-2000) and parts of two others (1992-1993) with the Orix BlueWave, and came into Wednesday evening’s game against the Blue Jays with 2,721 since coming to MLB in 2001, leaving him one hit shy of the plateau.

The 39-year-old right fielder collected the missing hit with a first-inning single to left field off Jays starter R.A. Dickey. As soon as he reached first base safely and play stopped, the Yankees came out of the dugout to congratulate him, and the Yankee Stadium crowd gave him a standing ovation. Ichiro doffed his batting helmet and bowed to the crowd and to countryman Munenori Kawasaki, the Blue Jays’ second baseman. Here’s the base knock:

Incidentally, his 2,722nd hit in MLB moved him out of a tie for 59th on the all-time hit leaderboard with Yankees legend Lou Gehrig. At his current pace, Suzuki would likely need until the 2015 season to reach 3,000 stateside, no guarantee given he’ll be 41 years old by then and will need to sign another contract. While the milestone he reached doesn’t equate to the 4,000-plus hits of Pete Rose or Ty Cobb, or the 3,000 hits of the 26 other major leaguers who have reached that plateau, it should stand as the signature accomplishment of a perennial All-Star who has brought an inimitable brand of baseball to two continents while serving as an unparalleled ambassador for the game.

I’ll be back with more on the subject later tonight.

16 comments
garyross14
garyross14

Nice to see a steroid free & class act in MLB among all the pumped up finger-pointing to the sky boorishness. More Marianos’ & Ichiros’, less Arods’ & Brauns’.

PerryHess
PerryHess

As fine a player as Ichiro is, it is simply wrong to count his hits from his days in the Japanese league. If those are counted in his total then every hit that every player gets while playing AAA should be counted in their totals as well. MLB records are for MLB play, not a mixture of performance numbers from different leagues.

AdamBear
AdamBear

It's nice to see a player these days accomplish something without steroids. Despite showing his age the past few years, Ichiro has been a class act his whole career. Congrats to him.

leberquesgue
leberquesgue

26? I count 28. And with "the milestone he reached doesn’t equate to the 4,000-plus hits of Pete Rose or Ty Cobb, or the 3,000 hits of the 26 other major leaguers who have reached that plateau" are you saying that you view Ichiro's achievement as less significant for having taken place partly in Japan? I should hope not.

Action
Action

If he isn't a first ballot Hall of Famer, there should be an investigation.

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

@MikelArtist Let's see you stand in against a Randy Johnson fastball under your chin some time. Then when you're done peeing your pants, come back and let us know if it's still a "girl's game".

Charles58
Charles58

@LeilaniHernandez What the hell are you reading and commenting on the article if you don't care? Get off of here and stop wasting your time, or do you just like to troll sports boards and be annoying?

leberquesgue
leberquesgue

@ThePDFGhost I don't know, but Ichiro has hit better in MLB than he did in Japan, for what that's worth.