Ichiro Suzuki surpasses Pete Rose on all-time hits list

Updated: June 15, 2016
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Instead of focusing on which hits count and which don’t, let’s take time to embrace one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. Today, Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki collected the 4,257th hit in his career against the San Diego Padres.

Obviously, the Major League Baseball all-time hits king is Pete Rose (who has 4,256). Ichiro recorded 1,278 hits in his nine-season career in Japan with the Orix Blue Wave. With the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Marlins, the 42-year-old has 2,979 and counting. Here’s an emotional Ichiro during the postgame press conference:

The MLB doesn’t recognize combined stats with minor or international leagues, so Ichiro isn’t revising MLB numbers. Instead, he is closing in on Sam Rice (2,985) for 30th on the all-time hit list.

Whichever way you choose to approach it, Ichiro is an all-time great. Rose isn’t very high on the praise that Ichiro has been receiving as of late. He released the following statement to USA Today Sports:

“It sounds like in Japan, they’re trying to make me the Hit Queen. I’m not trying to take anything away from Ichiro — he’s had a Hall of Fame career — but the next thing you know, they’ll be counting his high school hits.

“I don’t think you’re going to find anybody with credibility say that Japanese baseball is equivalent to Major League Baseball. There are too many guys that fail here and then become household names there, like Tuffy Rhodes. How can he not do anything here and hit [a record-tying] 55 home runs [in 2001] over there? It has something to do with the caliber of personnel.”

There’s no need to view Suzuki’s historic career with this mentality. What Ichiro has done in his time in the states is nothing short of phenomenal. His career overall will without a doubt lead to a first-ballot Hall of Fame induction.

In 55 games, he has a .349 average and 44 hits. He’s a lifetime .300 hitter, has 10 straight 200-plus hit seasons (Japan and MLB), and will still more than likely collect over 3,000 hits in the states in 15 seasons. Only two other players were 42 or older when they recorded No. 3,000: Cap Anson (45) and Rickey Henderson (42). So, he still has time to join more historic company.


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