Ichiro Records 4,257th Career Hit To Leapfrog Rose
With two base hits in today's game against the San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has passed MLB Hit King Pete Rose on the all-time hit list in professional baseball.
Ichiro, who notched 1,278 of his now 4,257 hits as a professional in Japan, is now also just 21 hits shy of reaching the 3,000 hit plateau in the major leagues.
While Rose, who is currently banned for life from the league because of gambling issues but finished his career with a still-MLB record 4,256 hits, did all of his work in what is considered the top level of baseball in the world, Ichiro's accomplishment is still plenty impressive.
It's undeniable that Rose should still be hailed as the all-time Hit King, as Major League Baseball is clearly a superior league to Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. For example, Japanese players who succeed and become stars overseas often come to America to play in the majors, where the talent is considered superior, and players who have seen their careers fizzle in the states have often headed to Japan for a shot to continue playing professionally.
Regardless of the asterisk that will be attached to Ichiro's record in the future, there is no denying that the accomplishment is still plenty impressive and may never be topped.
Here's another thought. The now 42-year-old didn't come over to the majors until he was 27. Seeing what he has done in the game since his 2001 debut, in which he was named both the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year, it's more than fair to believe that if he had never played in Japan and had started his major league career as an 18-year-old, when his pro career began, he might have beat Rose's record outright.
Nonetheless, this day is an exciting one for all true baseball fans.