Found August 23, 2013 on
MLB Injury News:
Even before New York Yankees' outfielder Ichiro Suzuki reached on a single on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, discussions began about what that hit would do for the Japanese sensation's chances of enshrinement into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. The hit itself was nothing significant, but he did it in classic Ichiro fashion: a single (off Toronto's R.A. Dickey) in the first inning on a line drive into left field. However, the magnitude of the hit has far more significance.
Significance of the hit
That single was the 4000th career hit for Suzuki. Only two Major Leaguers -- or any players -- have ever amassed as many hits; Pete Rose collected 4,256, and Ty Cobb pounded out 4,191 (recently reduced by two). That would rank Suzuki third in all-time hits and bring up a new question of whether not nor he will pass Rose as the all-time leader.
Then, a little reality sets in. Suzuki did not get all 4000 of those hits as a Major Leaguer. His first 1,278 came in the Nippan Major Leagues (NPB), the Japanese equivalent to MLB. Suzuki played his first nine years for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan. He hit .316 with 128 HR. Those are very good numbers, but his MLB totals are even better: 2,722 hits, a .320 average, and 110 HR in just under 13 years from 2001 through that 4000th hit.
If we could combine NPB with MLB, then Ichiro Suzuki is a definite first-ballot Hall of Famer. However, we cannot do that, so we have to consider only his Major League totals for inclusion into the Hall of Fame. In this case, though, he is still a Hall of Famer.
Hall of Fame credentials
Consider the following. First, Suzuki is 278 hits away from the coveted 3,000 mark (as of August 21). Three thousand hits 99.9% guarantees a player's induction (less Rose). If he continues his current 2013 pace, he will end the year with 157 hits and will need 237 more to reach 3,000. This means he must average only 118.5 for two more years, which he will likely play. He has another year on his Yankees contract, and he is still productive.
He is still capable of approaching 200 hits in a season even at age 42 (by the end of 2015), so he is candidate for 3,000 hits by the 2015 All-Star break. He will have accomplished the feat in 15 years, just barely less than time that it took Rose to do the same. Comparatively, sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit in his 17th season in 2011.
Most surprisingly, Ichiro Suzuki has been the most durable player in the Major Leagues. Since he began his MLB career with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, Suzuki has avoided injury to the tune of playing at least 157 games every year except 2009; he played 146 games then.
More than statistics
Consider also some numbers that we do not see every day. Ichiro Suzuki has a career average WAR of 4.94 for mostly losing Mariners teams with a high of 9.2 in 2004. In his Rookie of the Year season of 2001, it was 7.7 for the division winners. Suzuki has also won 10 Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, and an MVP award (2001). He has made 10 A.L. All-Star teams, set the record for hits in a season (262 in 2004), and stolen 470 bases. He has also hit .346 in 78 postseason at bats. Defensively, Suzuki is unparalleled. The late great Seattle Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus described Suzuki's bazooka of an arm as capable of throwing "something out of Star Wars" in 2001.
Yes, Hall of Fame material
We cannot combine Ichiro Suzuki's NPB and MLB statistics officially, but 4000 total hits at the top levels of the world's two most dominant baseball leagues does bring up the Hall of Fame discussion. Whether Suzuki reaches 3,000 MLB hits or not (he most likely will), he has amassed enough credentials to enter the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame even if he retired this year. When he enters depends solely on how long Suzuki decides to play.
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Ichiro Suzuki reached a milestone recording his 4,000th career hit in Wednesday nights game against Toronto.
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Next he'll tell you that was one of the greatest plays you've ever seen. Jannsen. When it wasn't.
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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.
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Ichiro Suzuki collected his 4,000th career hit. In case you were wondering what Pete Rose, Major League Baseball’s all-time hit leader, though about the milestone…. wonder no more. “He’s still 600 hits away from catching [teammate] Derek Jeter,” Rose told USA TODAY Sports, “so how can he catch me?” Rose discounts the 1,278 hits that Suzuki accumulated while playing...
Ichiro Suzuki has singled for his 4,000th career hit between Japan and the major leagues.
The 39-year-old Suzuki slashed a line drive the opposite way to left field off Toronto's R.A. Dickey in the first inning Wednesday night for the milestone hit.
He has 2,722 hits in a 13-year major league career and amassed 1,278 hits in nine seasons with Orix of Japan's Pacific League...
Ichiro Suzuki joined Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only players with 4000 career hits in the highest levels of professional baseball. Ichiro's accomplishment comes with a little bit of a twist because his are the combined total between Japan and the American major leagues.
On Wednesday Ichiro's 4000th hit occurred when he singled to left off Toronto Blue Jays' starter...
Ichiro Suzuki yesterday was etched into the pantheon of the baseball gods, notching his 4,000th career hit between the Japanese Nippon League and Major League Baseball.
In the precise and scrappy fashion he's become so known for, Ichiro Suzuki tallied his milestone hit on Wednesday by slashing a single past Blue Jay third baseman Brett Lawrie.
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FOR PETE'S SAKE
All-time hit king Pete Rose thinks Ichiro is a fantastic ballplayer but argues the hits he tallied during his career in Japan shouldn't count towards his professional total.
On Wednesday, New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki joined an elite club by notching his 4,000th career hit in professional baseball.It is certainly no small feat to record that many hits over a career even if about one-third of them were amassed while playing in Japan.In fact, Ichiro recorded 1,278 hits in Japan's top baseball league, with the other 2,722 coming while playing...
New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki made baseball history Wednesday night. Sort of.
With a first-inning single off Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey, Ichiro became the first player in the history of the game to record a combined 4,000 hits between two major leagues.
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Since invading MLB in 2001, Ichiro has...
I realize it is cliche, but when Ichiro Suzuki laced an opposite field single Wednesday night...it became the modern day equivalent to "the shot heard 'round the world".
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That basehit off Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey was number 4000 for the New York Yankees star. And if you're keeping track (and who isn't?...
Alfonso Soriano hit a tiebreaking two-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, Ichiro Suzuki got his 4,000th hit between the major leagues and Japan, and the Yankees handed the Toronto Blue Jays their 12th straight loss in New York, 4-2 on Wednesday night.
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Ichiro Suzuki is in exclusive company after collecting his 4,000th hit Wednesday night against Toronto’s R.A. Dickey. Suzuku, who had 1,278 hits in Japan and 2,722 in the MLB, joins Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Pete Rose in the only 4,000 hit club.
The Yankees came out to Suzuki at first after his first inning single past Brett Lawrie.
On Wednesday, New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki joined an elite club by notching his 4,000th career hit in professional baseball.
It is certainly no small feat to record that many hits over a career even if about one-third of them were amassed while playing in Japan.
In fact, Ichiro recorded 1,278 hits in Japan's top baseball league, with the other 2,722 coming...