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Added June 21st, 2016 by Ian
MLB

Japan’s Ichiro Suzuki sets pro baseball record with 4,257th hit

Japanese baseball star Ichiro Suzuki of the Florida Marlins recently set the all time record for hits by a professional baseball player. But even though Ichiro has played in North America’s Major League baseball since the 2001 season, his hit total isn’t a MLB record. Suzuki entered his game on June 15th in San Diego against the Padres just one hit shy of the record of 4,256 hits set by former MLB player Pete Rose. He tied the record with an infield single in his first at bat in the contest at Petco Park. Ichiro then failed to reach base during his next three plate appearances, but in the top of the ninth inning he managed to hit a two-out double to set a new pro mark of 4,257 hits.

The 42-year-old Ichiro had 1,278 hits to start off his career in professional baseball in Japan when he played in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. The hit that broke Rose’s international record was number 2,979 in Major League Baseball. Nobody is saying Ichiro has set a MLB record, but Rose is among one of many who feels the Japanese native’s achievement shouldn’t be recognized. However, they’re missing the point here. Ichiro’s record is for proof international baseball not MLB. Rose, who was banned from baseball for gambling and wasn’t inducted to the Hall of Fame because of it, made a good point when he said Japanese baseball isn’t as competitive as MLB, but he also sarcastically stated that they’ll soon start counting Ichiro’s high school hits.

Ichiro played nine years in Japan before heading to North America to join the Seattle Mariners as he was a member of the Orix BlueWave. He’s now aiming for his milestone 3,000th MLB hit and should reach it sometime soon. Ichiro seemed to be a little embarrassed after getting worldwide attention for breaking Rose’s old pro record, but said it’s nothing he set out to do. He stated that he just happens to have the most all-time hits for a pro ball player and there’s nothing he can really do about it and realizes it’s not a MLB milestone. Ichiro has now unfairly become involved in a heated baseball debate simply for doing his job day in and day out. While Rose may be bitter about the attention Ichiro is receiving, there’s no doubt Suzuki is one of the sport’s best ever hitters and players.

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. He’s currently ranked number 31 overall on the MLB career hit list. Ichiro isn’t a power hitter as he’s banged just 113 MLB homers along with 747 RBIs, but he’s a handful on the base paths with 504 stolen bases and is a career .314 hitter. Ichiro has also accumulated numerous MLB awards and achievements during his career including batting championships, all-star nominations, gold gloves, stolen-base leader, and was the AL rookie of the year in 2001.

 
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