At the risk of setting off an endless debate, I must inform you that Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki tied Pete Rose with his 4,256th career professional baseball hit, as MLB.com’s A.J. Cassavell notes. It was a swinging bunt, one of likely hundreds — I haven’t counted — throughout his 25-year career, including nine in Japan and 16 in the United States.
As far as his MLB-only hit total goes, today’s was number 2,978 in his career, leaving him 22 shy of joining the 3,000 hit club. He’ll soon be the 30th member of the 3,000-hit club and he could realistically pass Lou Brock (3,023) for 25th all-time. Alex Rodriguez is the current active leader with 3,098.
Ichiro is 42 years old and is putting up a remarkable season thus far. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .347/.410/.388. According to Baseball Reference, no one age 41 or older has ever had enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title and finished the season with a batting average above .340. Sam Rice (.349, 1930) and Ty Cobb (.357, 1927) are the only ones to do it at the age of 40.
If we can’t agree on combining his hits in Japan with his U.S. hits, we can at least agree that he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer and that he’s doing amazing things this season.