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Japanese baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki collects 3,000th MLB hit – SportsUntapped.com
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Added August 9th, 2016 by Ian

Japanese baseball legend Ichiro Suzuki collects 3,000th MLB hit
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Forty-two-year-old Japanese baseball star Ichiro Suzuki of the Florida Marlins became the 30th MLB player to reach 3,000 base hits when he achieved the feat on Sunday August 7th. Ichiro slapped a triple off of the right field wall against the Colorado Rockies and pitcher Chris Rusin to enter the Major League history book. The hit came in the top of the seventh inning during the game in Colorado. While it was the 3,000th hit of his MLB career, it was the 4,278th hit of his pro baseball career as Ichiro also had 1,278 hits while playing in Japan. He is the all-time leader for hits in a professional baseball career.

Ichiro joined North America’s Major League Baseball in 2001, but will still need to play a few more seasons if he hopes to reach the MLB hit record of 4,256 which is held by Pete Rose. However, Ichiro recently stated that he hopes to play until he’s 50 years of age. The former Nippon Professional Baseball League player starred for nine years in his homeland with the Orix Blue Wave team before joining the Seattle Mariners of MLB. He’s had an exceptional career and should easily be voted to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York when he becomes eligible.

The right fielder, who also played for the New York Yankees before joining Miami last year, has set several MLB batting records. These include the single-season mark of 262 hits. In addition, he’s the only MLB player to have stringed together 10 straight seasons of at least 200 hits. Ichiro isn’t known as a power hitter since he’s managed to hit just 113 home runs in MLB. However, he’s proven to be more than a handful on the base paths with over 500 stolen bases during his North American career. Ichiro has also accumulated various MLB achievements and awards in his Major League career such as batting championships, all-star nominations, gold gloves, stolen-base leader, and was the AL rookie of the year in 2001.

Ichiro is enjoying his 16th MLB campaign and had slowed down a little from the days in which he was named to the All-Star team 10 years in a row and also captured 10 straight Gold Glove awards. He’s more or less the Marlins’ fourth outfielder this season as the National League club fights for a playoff spot. Ichiro still has what it takes to get things done at the plate though as he’s batting .318 this season. He’s still under contract for next season and there’s a good chance that Florida will opt to keep him for at least another year.

The native of Kasugai, Japan was also a seven-time All-Star and three-time league MVP in nine seasons in his homeland. He holds the MLB record as a rookie with 242 hits when he stole 56 bases and hit .350 in 2001. He was the first player to lead MLB in batting and stolen bases since 1949 when Jackie Robinson did it. He was also named the America League MVP as a rookie. Ichiro was named the MVP of the 2007 All-Star Game when he became the only player to hit an inside-the-park home run during the annual event.

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