Yesterday, Ichiro Suzuki made history, recording his 4,257th hit in professional baseball, 1,278 of those coming in the years he spent in Japan. That hit total is one more than that of Pete Rose’s, MLB’s hit king. Even without including his Japan hit total, Ichiro is closing in on 3000 hits in the MLB, which is a great accomplishment.
With this topic being brought up in recent days, there has been some controversy whether Pete Rose is the “real” hit king still or whether that title now belongs to Ichiro. Some will argue that those hits in Japan are equivalent to Triple-A level hits in the MLB or somewhere between AAA and the Majors, but not near the level that MLB provides.
Others will argue that the Nippon Professional Baseball League is the highest league in all of East Asia and that some great talent resides there such as Hiroki Kuroda, Yu Darvish, and Masahiro Tanaka in past years.
No matter which side you take, Ichiro is truly a special ball player and deserves to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee once he hangs up his spikes. But for now, let’s all enjoy this ride and continue to follow the amazing achievements that Ichiro will surely gather in the coming months.