We all know the Pete Rose story. No need to go over it here. He is the Hit King. 4,256 hits over a 24 year career. All against major league pitching. He IS the hit king, just ask him.
Yesterday Ichiro Suzuki hit an eighth-inning double off of Fernando Rodney in the Padre-Marlin game, giving him 4,257 hits in professional baseball (1,278 in Japan). Suzuki doesn’t have as many MLB hits as Pete Rose, but he is the best hitter of all time. Or is he? The debate will rage on. Rose, ESPN, and other sports media will make sure of it.
In his 16th season in Major League Baseball, Suzuki has 2,979 hits in the majors and is rapidly approaching the 3,000-hit club. Since his rookie year with the Mariners back in 2001 (350 batting average and 242 hits), he has done nothing but played Hall Of Fame caliber baseball for 3 major league teams. He's a 10-time All-Star and has won 10 Gold Glove Awards. He has even pitched! Whether or not Japanese ball is as difficult as MLB, Ichiro needed about 1,500 fewer plate appearances than Rose to equal his record. Oh, by the way, at 42, Ichiro is currently hitting .349 for the Marlins. I think you get where I’m going. This guy is one of the greatest to play the game.
Pete Rose recently said Ichiro belongs in the Hall of Fame. I agree, they both do. In my book Rose does have more hits in the majors, but you cannot argue that had Suzuki played his entire career in MLB, that he might have passed Rose. Rather than getting caught up in comparing him to Rose or anyone else, let's simply enjoy what an amazing career we've witnessed, and I repeat… this guy is one of the greatest to play the game…..anywhere. What do you think?
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It's a somewhat tongue in cheek OPINIONATED sports blog that promises to cover baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and any other INTERESTING, stupid, and absurd STORY related to sports.