Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki slapped a first-inning single into left field Wednesday off Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey for his 4,000th professional hit between North America and Japan. Ichiro was then mobbed at first base by his Yankees teammates and saluted in unique fashion by Jays second baseman and fellow countryman Munenori Kawasaki.
You’re going to want to watch this highlight:
Ichiro tallied 1,278 hits in Nippon Professional Baseball and has 2,722 hits and counting in MLB.
The 39-year-old is one of only five players in the history of the sport to collect more than 4,000 combined hits as a pro and the rest of the list is like a baseball Mount Rushmore. Pete Rose had 4,683 hits between the minors and major leagues, Ty Cobb had 4,357, Hank Aaron had 4,095 and Stan Musial had 4,001.
Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.
After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”
Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]
Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”