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 R.A. Dickey in the first inning. The game was stopped as Ichiro received a standing ovation. Ichiro's teammates bounded out from the home dugout and met him at first base to give him hugs and high fives. In his seven seasons in the Japanese Pacific League Ichiro collected 1278 hits. During his 13 years in the United States he now has 2722 major league hits. Ichiro who will turn 40 in October has one more season remaining on his two-year $13 million deal. He realizes the debate over the worth of his 4000 overall hits but knows if he reaches 3000 in the States there will be no discussion. "I don't think anyone will say anything about 3000 from any fan or media" Ichiro said through a translator before hitting No. 4000. Rose is the all-time hits leader with 4256 while Cobb had 4189. "It's not a goal that I have" Ichiro said of catching Rose. "It's not a number that I'm looking at. I'm just coming to the ballpark every day seeing if I'm in the lineup keeping my schedule so that I'm in the lineup so that I can perform and do what I can to contribute to this team. Since his first MLB season in 2001 Ichiro has 375 more hits than any other player and needs 34 more this season to tie Richie Ashburn for second place with his 13th consecutive 150-hit season to begin a career according to ESPN Stats & Info. Only Paul Waner had a longer streak with 14 consecutive 150-hit seasons from 1926-39. Ichiro's first hit came in 1992 for the Orix Buffaloes.
Ichiro Suzuki gets 4000th hit of his pro career
ESPN | Aug 22