Ichiro recorded his 3,000th hit (a triple, second to do so since Paul Molitor in 1996) off of Colorado Rockies pitcher Chris Rusin in the seventh inning of the Miami Marlins 10-7 victory at Coors Field.
Earlier this season Ichiro tied Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Sr., and Ty Cobb for the most hits in a three game span by a 40-plus-year-old with 10 (Joe Morgan has the most with 11 hits). He also became the first 42-year-old to go 4-for-4 or better in a game (per Fox Sports).
Christian Yelich’s absence at times this year (due to injury) allowed Ichiro more playing time and plate appearances. Needless to say, Ichiro made the most of his opportunities and is currently slashing .318/.389/.373 in just 94 games this year.
For Ichiro, reaching 3,000 hits is just another incredible feat to go along with an already legendary career.
Below is a short list of his career highlights, awards, and achievements:
- Became only the second MLB player since Fred Lynn (1975) to win both the Rookie Of The Year award and Most Valuable Player in the same season in 2001.
- Set the single-season hits record in 2004 with 262, edging previous record holder George Sisler (257 in 1920) by five hits.
- In 2010 he finished his 10th consecutive season with at least 200 hits (an MLB record). The only other player to do so was Pete Rose, though his 10 seasons were not all consecutive, rather accumulated.
- Became the first and only MLB player to hit an inside-the-park home run during an all-star game in 2007.
- Once stole 45 consecutive bases from April 19, 2006 to May 17th, 2007, which ranks him second in MLB history behind Vince Coleman’s 50 consecutive games (September 16th, 1988 to July 26th, 1989).
- For his 16 year MLB career, Ichiro currently holds a .314/.357/.406 slash line with 113 home runs, 743 RBI, and 500 stolen bases.
- Fun Fact: If you included Ichiro’s nine year Japanese League career hit total of 1,278 (he began his MLB career at age 27), he would surpass both Ty Cobb and Rose on the all-time MLB list with 4,278.
- Becomes only the seventh MLB player to have 3,000 hits and 500 steals in a career.
- Becomes second player to reach 3,000 hits in his first 16 seasons.
Ichiro is the 30th MLB player (fourth foreign born player) to reach 3,000 hits and is tied with the equally legendary Roberto Clemente on the all-time list.
Ichiro’s nickname, per BaseballReference.com, is “Wizard”. This couldn’t be more fitting as his baseball career has been nothing short of magical.
He’s arguably one of greatest hitters of all-time, ranking somewhere in the top 10 (maybe even top five) amongst varying baseball experts.
Suzuki will become a free agent at seasons end, and it would come as no surprise to see him ride off into the rising sun (though he has told reporters he plans on playing to age 50).
(All statistical information is courtesy of BaseballReference.com, Fox Sports.com, ESPN.com, and the Marlins official twitter feed)