Both came from the left side of the plate, both were against the San Diego Padres, yet Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki’s hit, a double down the right field line at Petco Park on Wednesday, hit number 4,257 will not be recognized by MLB as a record breaker, and it shouldn’t in my opinion. Not because I’m a Pete Rose worshiper, not because I dislike like Ichiro, (neither one is true) but simply because it’s not the record.
Rose accumulated his hit total (4,256) over his 24 year career in the MLB, surpassing Ty Cobb who set the mark prior during his own 24 years at 4,189 while also playing in exclusively in the MLB. Ichiro’s has run up his total while participating in this his 16th season in the MLB combined with the 9 seasons he spent with the Orix Blue Wave of the Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball League (1,278). Basically Suzuki has 2,979 states-side.
While what Ichiro has done is phenomenal and he will indeed be considered one of the greatest hitters of all time, it’s just not right to put him ahead of Rose. That would be like putting Sadaharu Oh who if came to the MLB for just one season and he hit just one home run putting his career home runs at 869 (868 in Japan), ahead of Barry Bonds who has 762.
If you want to give Ichiro the title of International Hit King that’s fine, but, also keep in mind that if we are indeed splitting hairs, Minor League ball is still considered professional baseball and Rose has 427 hits there as well.
Rose’s gambling issues aside…facts are facts and hits are hits.
Congrats to Ichiro…but…All hail Pete Rose for he is indeed the “HIT KING!”
(photos courtesy of: pintrest, britannica, getty, ap)