Ichiro Suzuki has been one of the best hitters in baseball for a long time. He’s so good that people almost take him for granted. This is a guy who hit over .300 for 10 straight seasons from 2001-2010. During his time with the Seattle Mariners he was simply a hitting machine. Even now at age 39 with the New York Yankees, he’s still reeling them off at a pretty good rate. But with a single on Wednesday night, Suzuki joined an extremely elite baseball club – 4,000 career hits.
This is not the same club that Pete Rose and Ty Cobb belong to (the only players in solely MLB history to surpass the 4k mark), this is a club for players that have amassed 4,000 hits between minor and major league baseball. Suzuki has 2,722 hits during his time in MLB and 1,278 from his days in Japan’s Pacific League. Although his milestone is not quite as elite, it’s not far off. Only three additional players: Stan Musial, Hank Aaron and Jigger Statz have also surpassed the ridiculous mark.
Suzuki’s teammate Derek Jeter is also not far from the milestone, as he needs just 141 more to join the prestigious club.
Ichiro deserves a ton of credit for his accomplishment. The 4,000-hit club is just an unfathomable thing. Think of how many players have stepped up to the plate in the history of professional baseball and after all those appearances, only six players have 4,000 hits. Some people will try to downgrade Suzuki’s hits because a large portion of them came from Japan, but that’s just nonsense. The guy has 4,000 hits from playing 20 years of high level baseball, that deserves a lot of respect.
Obviously, if you do the math, the Yankees’ outfielder is now only 278 hits away from another exclusive club – 3,000 MLB hits. That’s a mark that’s still very much in reach, as he’ll figure to need around 130 hits per year over the next two seasons to get there. I, for one, hope he sticks around to do it.