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Ichiro Suzuki collects 4,000th professional hit

Aug 21, 2013, 7:55 PM EDT

ichiro getty Getty Images

Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki slapped a first-inning single into left field Wednesday off Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey for his 4,000th professional hit between North America and Japan. Ichiro was then mobbed at first base by his Yankees teammates and saluted in unique fashion by Jays second baseman and fellow countryman Munenori Kawasaki.

You’re going to want to watch this highlight:

Ichiro tallied 1,278 hits in Nippon Professional Baseball and has 2,722 hits and counting in MLB.

The 39-year-old is one of only five players in the history of the sport to collect more than 4,000 combined hits as a pro and the rest of the list is like a baseball Mount Rushmore. Pete Rose had 4,683 hits between the minors and major leagues, Ty Cobb had 4,357, Hank Aaron had 4,095 and Stan Musial had 4,001.

  1. tampajoey - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Congratulations to one of the best hitters in baseball history!

  2. mlblogsbig3bosox - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Ichiro is truly one of the best hitters to play the game. I hope he gets to play 2 more healthy seasons so he can reach 3,000 hits in MLB. Great great career nonetheless.

  3. penale52 - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    Can’t wait for him to pass the legendary Jigger Statz with his 4,094 hit.

    • bigharold - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      That’s just crazy talk :-D

  4. aceshigh11 - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Amazing.

    He certainly would have accomplished the same feat had he spent his entire professional career in the States, especially given his first 9 years in MLB.

    • roadryder - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      But that’s not the same thing as actually doing it. Sorry but non-MLB hits don’t count.

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        Did I SAY that?

        Absolutely not…and I agree 100% that non-MLB don’t count. I don’t see many people at all claiming that his hits from Japan should be migrated over to MLB record books.

        I SIMPLY said that, had Ichiro began his career in MLB, he most likely would have achieved the same feat.

        Reading comprehension: it’s your friend.

      • nbjays - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        I hear you, Aces… reading comprehension seems to be in short supply these days. Someone sees something in print, thinks it says something they disagree with and then they proceed to go apeshit.

        I toally agree that the stats from the Japanese leagues shouldn’t be migrated over here to our record books; they are about the equivalent of AAAA ball.

        But… if that were ever to happen, it would be so worth it just to hear the heads of Bonds apologists exploding when Sadaharu Oh and his 868 dingers took the top spot. :-)

        Congrats to Ichiro on a great accomplishment. I hope he sticks around long enough to get 3000 in MLB.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

      You’re right aces, his performance in MLB has certainly justified your conclusion. Also worth noting – in Japan they play a 144-game schedule. That would have been up to 18 extra games a season depending on health, up to a complete full extra season worth of PA’s, he could easily be sitting around 4,200 hits right now.

      • skids003 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        unclemoses and aceshigh, I know you may find this hard to belive, but I agree with you both. I think he could have been the alltime leader.

  5. joerymi - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    A no doubt about it HOFer.

    But it is a bit depressing that he didn’t get stateside earlier. Had he started in the majors as a 21/22 year old, he would have cleared 3000 hits a few years ago, taking a run at Stan Musial or Hank Aaron.

  6. buttfumbles - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Wouldn’t “professional hits” include hits in the minor leagues for all players?

    • dondada10 - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Giving Charlie Hustle 4683 hits.

    • gmsingh - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:45 AM

      > Wouldn’t “professional hits” include hits in the minor leagues for all players?

      Let’s let minor league teams get the crap kicked out of them by Japanese league teams and then decide.

  7. gnrfan8804 - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Shouldve been with the M’s when he did it. Oh well, congrats Ichiro, your one of the best hitters ever

  8. 13arod - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    I hate that they are saying this is his 4,000 hit most of the from japan a differnt league

    • mlblogsbig3bosox - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      “Ichiro tallied 1,278 hits in Nippon Professional Baseball and has 2,722 hits and counting in MLB.”

      He got most of hits in MLB and even if you don’t like it, NPB is a professional league of baseball as its name says.

    • nbjays - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      Most?

      Japan: 1278
      MLB: 2722

      Jeez, not only reading comprehension but basic Grade 3 math skills seem to be in very short supply here.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      I think it’s a shame that some people refuse to learn English.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:12 PM

        He thinks 1278 > 2722, what makes you think he didn’t try to learn English?

      • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        especially those French Canadians!!!!

  9. 2016olympics - Aug 21, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    If he’s NOT a 1st ballot HOF, something has to have gone terribly wrong.

  10. Stiller43 - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    If someone came over from the CFL to the NFL and combined for a total of 400 TDs thrown, they wouldnt celebrate it as 400 due to the first X being thrown in a diff league…some with hockey with the KHL to the NHL.

    I dont see why they would celebrate his hits from an inferior league.(yes i realize its not in the MLB record hits as #4000)

    /i say this with MUCH respect for ichiro. He’s been an AWESOME player for so long.

    • hcf95688 - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      ask Warren Moon

      • gmsingh - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:46 AM

        The hits Warren Moon got were on his wife.

  11. kirbyslefteye - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Ichiro is the 6th player with over 4,000 hits in minors/majors/NPB.

    Arnold “Jigger” Statz – 737 of his 4,093 pro hits with four big league teams from 1919-28.

    • hcf95688 - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Ichiro WISHES he had the stats of Jigger Statz.

  12. joerymi - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    All I noticed in the video was the Heisenberg shirt at 1:00.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      Yes, you could only determine his position and clearly not accurately simultaneously determine his momentum.

  13. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    I’m utterly shocked you still have the ability to post here.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 21, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      Disappointed too.

    • APBA Guy - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      Getting to be way too many racist postings on this site now.

  14. bills399 - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    so ichiro gets 4000 even if he played in mlb his whole career but babe Ruth’s historic numbers are tainted because he didn’t play with black players……….hmmmmmm

    • daveitsgood - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      Well to be fair to your ridiculous lapse of logic, Ichiro did only get 2722 hits in the MLB to Ruth’s 2873 in 9 less seasons. So I see what you’re saying there.

  15. virusgvr - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Guess who you didn’t see come out of the dugout to congratulate Ichiro…. A-Fraud. God forbid he think of someone other than himself.

    • hcf95688 - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:30 PM

      I’m no apologist for A-Roid, but maybe he didn’t want to take away from Ichiro’s moment?

  16. vegagreenleaf - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Congrats Ichi

    Signed,

    Mariners Nation

  17. proudlycanadian - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Congratulations. I am sorry that I missed tonight’s game.

  18. sayheysayhey - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    I wrote something on the atmosphere of the game ( I was there) check it out here… http://enjoythestadium.blogspot.com/2013/08/ichiros-4000th-hit-atmosphere.html

  19. romoscollarbone - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    I hate when people say that Japan is equivalent to AAAA. AAAA doesn’t exist, it’s either triple A or the show. In the Nippon league I’d say 15-22% could make a 25 with about half of those guys being starters and a quarter above avg to stars. You can’t completely discount his nonMLB hits but they are not the same quality,

    Anyway you breakdown his career though, you see his fantastic ability. Ichiro undoubtably could’ve and should’ve been stateside from day 1, he’s a generational talent.

    • gmsingh - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      From what I googled, it appears the Japanese pitcher’s mound is way higher than in MLB, giving the advantage to Japanese pitchers. Overall, it just isn’t an apples to apples comparison to compare Japanese stats to MLB or Minor League stats.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      When people say AAAA, they know said level does not exist, and they are not insulting Japanese baseball. It is simply a short way of saying that their highest level is better than AAA but not as good overall as MLB. When you in turn explain that you believe 15-22% of Japanese league players could make MLB rosters and that half of those could be starters, you are agreeing with that assessment.

      • number42is1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        did you know that 73% of all stats are made up on the spot?

      • raysfan1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        Be careful, half my lies aren’t true.

  20. txnative61 - Aug 22, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    I expect Ichiro leads in infield hits. His unique batting style puts unprecedented pressure on infielders on grounders previously considered “routine”. Batting from the left side already gives a couple of steps to first, then every time he makes contact he’s two or three more steps up the line. Early in his career with the Mariners he beat out so many grounders infielders began to look like little leaguers, rushing throws and bobbling, overthrowing, etc. It was the art of batting to get on base to its highest form.

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  22. stevequinn - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    Quite an achievement. What did he have about 3,300 singles? :-)

  23. jacquelinellhill - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Only seriously intrested people will be warmly welcomed,Thanks,, you have to work and use the computer and internet,
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    • raysfan1 - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      Stop with the spam

  24. bills399 - Aug 22, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    funny APBA guy, I don’t see any racist comments. Maybe u should find something to do.

  25. somekat - Aug 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Are we going to start counting hits in the minor leagues too? Technically that is professional baseball.

    Just stupid to act like this matters. Nobody cares what he did in Japan, where half the league couldn’t make triple A. The man has 2722 hits, and is pushing 3000, a heck of an accomplishment. Let’s not try to make it something it isn’t

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