Ichiro Suzuki has had a phenomenal career since arriving in Major League Baseball back in 2001. On Tuesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Ichiro led off the game with a single for the 2,500th hit of his major league career. That is an incredible amount of production in just 11 seasons.
If you add those 2,500 hits to the 1,278 hits he had in nine years with the Orix Blue Wave of the Japanese Pacific League (before coming to America), Ichiro has 3,778 career hits. That’s the third-most among professional players in either country. He has seven more than Hank Aaron and trails only Pete Rose (4,256) and Ty Cobb (4,191).
That’s a pretty amazing achievement.
Suzuki has played his entire major-league career in relative obscurity with the Seattle Mariners, so he is often forgotten when thinking of the best players in baseball. But there is no doubt he belongs in any conversation regarding the top ballplayers of his era.
The 38-year-old outfielder is a 10-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, has won the Silver Slugger three times and is a two-time American League batting champion. He was also the American League MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2001, and holds the MLB single-season record for hits with 262 in 2004.
He also holds the big league record for most consecutive seasons of 200 or more hits with 10, passing Wee Willie Keeler’s previous record of eight.
In Japan Ichiro was a seven-time All-Star, seven-time batting champion, three-time MVP and won seven Gold Gloves.
There is no doubt he is bound for the Hall of Fame when his career finally comes to a close.