Early Thursday afternoon, in a game against Toronto that few people were watching, Ichiro ripped a third-inning double and a fifth-inning single. This wouldn't ordinarily be of much significance, except that the single pushed Ichiro's hit total on the season up to 200 - the tenth time he's reached that mark in ten years. Not only did Ichiro extend his record streak of consecutive 200-hit seasons; he also equaled the all-time mark for 200-hit seasons in career, set by Pete Rose in 1979.
It's a testament to Ichiro's excellence and durability, and following his achievement, he received a standing ovation from those in attendance.
Lost in the celebration of Ichiro's record-setting run, however, is the fact that he isn't only riding a streak of 200-hit seasons. The following streaks are also alive and well:
- Ten consecutive seasons with a .300+ batting average
- Ten consecutive seasons with an OPS+ over 100
- Ten consecutive seasons with 625+ at bats
- Seven consecutive seasons with at least 12 intentional walks
- Nine consecutive seasons of missing the playoffs
- Five consecutive seasons of being the only exciting hitter on the team
- 37 consecutive years of being Japanese
I don't believe in magic. I do believe that Ichiro may one day change my mind.