Ichiro Reaches 4,000 Hits
It was only a matter of time before Ichiro Suzuki would attain his 4,000th career hit, and he got it on Wednesday. Facing starter R.A. Dickey in the first inning, Ichiro lined a single past third baseman Brett Lawrie, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd and congratulatory hugs from his team-mates.
Ichiro failed to reach base for the rest of the game, but the Yankees still pulled off a 4-2 win, their fourth consecutive victory. After the game, Ichiro spoke of unofficially passing Pete Rose’s all-time record of 4,256 hits, stating, “It’s not a goal that I have.” Even if he does not pass Rose, Ichiro can still be proud of his incredible accomplishments to date. He’s one of only three players to reach 4,000 professional hits (Rose and Ty Cobb are the other two), and his 2,722 hits in the majors are by far the most of any player since his debut in 2001. (Albert Pujols is a distant second with 2,347 hits.) Manager Joe Girardi put the amazing accomplishment in perspective, saying, [quote]“I didn’t have 4,000 hits my whole career going back to T-ball. To me, it’s an incredible feat and he’s some kind of hitter.”[/quote]
It’s been a long journey for Ichiro since his first hit back in 1992, and he would surely be a Hall of Famer if he were to retire today. He’s a ten time All-Star, ten time Glove Glove winner, and a two time batting champ, not to mention his many accolades and accomplishments in Japan. Oh, and he won the MVP in his rookie season in the majors and he has the record for most hits in a single season. Not bad for a guy who was already 27 years old when he broke into the majors with the Seattle Mariners. Now, at age 40, it will be interesting to see how much longer he can go.