Let the debate about the true Hit King of baseball rage on, as Ichiro Suzuki has officially passed Pete Rose with his 4,257th career hit, thanks to two hits against the Padres on Wednesday.
In maybe the most Ichiro fashion possible, that tying hit came on an infield single in the first inning.
Ichiro then added a double in the ninth to surpass Rose.
The first 1,278 hits of Ichiro’s career came while playing in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan — he didn’t get his start in Major League Baseball until 2001 when he was already 27 years old. Now, 2,979 MLB hits later, he’s ahead of Rose for the most all-time if you count those NPB knocks.
And why shouldn’t you? The above tweet recognizing the feat came from MLB’s own account. Baseball is a global sport, only gaining popularity worldwide by the day, and there isn’t a better ambassador for that out there than Ichiro Suzuki. Rose is MLB’s official hit leader, sure, and that's not being taken away from him, but baseball as a whole? All hail Ichiro and his 4,257 hits ... and counting. A manufactured controversy? Maybe! But we're all-in just the same.
Whether you agree with that or not, Ichiro has a whole lot of hits, and is now just 21 shy of becoming the 30th player in the history of MLB with 3,000 for his career. Given that age-27 start, that should have been nigh impossible. This is Ichiro we’re talking about, though. He’s 42 years old and hasn’t figured out what impossible means yet.
IMPORTANT 6/15/2017 UPDATE: Ichiro now has 4,325 career hits, which is [checks math] still more than Pete Rose ever had.