Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ichiro gets his 4,256th professional baseball hit

Ichiro Suzuki of the Miami Marlins collected base hit number 4,256 today in San Diego against the Padres.

Ichiro dribbled the ball down the first base line for an infield base hit, giving him 2,978 career base hits in Major League Baseball, and the Japanese import is now just 22 hits away from the hallowed 3,000 hits total.

Playing for the Orix Blue Waves in the Japanese Pacific League Ichiro collected 1,278 base hits...and that gives him a professional baseball hits total of 4,256, tying him with Pete Rose, who had 4,256 base hits in the big leagues.

So...there's all kinds of buzz on baseball games, TV programs, and on social media about weather or not Ichiro is becoming the new hit king of baseball.

Pete Edward Rose, Jr. played 24 years in the big leagues, for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, and back to the Reds as player/manager to end his playing career.

It has been a spirited debate, to say the least, a good baseball fans debate about what constitutes a big league base hit from a minor league baseball hit.

I'm not really sure how this started...probably an Ichiro fan, or maybe just anti-Rose fans...but it's all just a bit ridiculous. 

Pete Rose is the all-time MLB hit king...end of discussion.

Just to be fair, I didn't want Rose to surpass Cobb...hey, I'm a lifelong Tigers fan...and I kept hoping he'd get hurt...not hurt bad, just bad enough so he'd be slowed down...and that maybe Pete would end up retiring from baseball before he broke Cobb'so hallowed 4,191 career base hits.

Ty Cobb, The Georgia Peach," played for the Tigers and the old Philadelphia Athletics.

Yes, it was totally juvenile to want Rose to not pass Cobb, and I learned to accept the fact that Pete Rose is the All-Time HIT KING.

This doesn't diminish the career of Ichiro, a ballplayer who'll be enshrined one day in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ichiro's accomplishments are matter where you play...4,256 base hits is a pretty big deal.

However, the Japanese baseball, as well as baseball played in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, Korea, Canada, or any other league not called Major League Baseball, is not the big leagues.

And there's also the Negro Leagues.

From everything I've read and heard over the years of following baseball, record keeping in the Negro Leagues, both the Negro American League and Negro National League, was far from reliable, and cannot be used to add to the records of ballplayers like Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, Larry Doby, and Monte Irvin, to hame just a few.

Big league baseball records, beginning with the original National League in 1876, as well as the American League in 1901, are the two leagues you must have played in to accumulate even one official big league hit.

⚾⚾⚾ UPDATE... Ichiro collected base hit number 2,979 while I'm writing this post...that gives Ichiro 4,257 professional baseball hits! ⚾⚾⚾

Ichiro Suzuki is a great ballplayer, and he deserves all the accolades coming his way, however, you can't just add hits from another league because he's reached, and surpassed, big league baseball's all-time leader in baseball hits.

Ichiro will get 3,000 hits...and then some, and he will be, 5 years after his retirement, a sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer, and recognized as one of the truly great hitters of our lifetime.

Congratulations! again to Ichiro on his climbing hit total, and for giving us 16 years...and counting...of magnificent baseball memories.

Play Ball! ⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾

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