Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Ichiro Suzuki Breaks Pete Rose's All-Time Hits Record

Ichiro Suzuki Breaks Pete Rose's All-Time Hits Record Ichiro Suzuki Breaks Pete Rose's All-Time Hits Record
Spencer Simpson | 17 June, 2016, 10:22

Ichiro Suzuki of the Miami Marlins made history this week when he broke Pete Rose’s all-time record of 4,256 hits. The Marlins, who have been playing well this season under new manager Don Mattingly, are favored to win an NL Wildcard spot by online MLB odds.

While Suzuki didn’t get all his hits in Major League Baseball, the achievement is still impressive considering how difficult it is to accumulate that many hits. 

Most MLB players and coaches were happy for Ichiro because he is one of the few star players in the league that is all about helping the team instead of trying to call attention to themselves. Unfortunately, the one person who doesn’t seem too happy about Ichiro breaking the record is the former owner of the record.

On Tuesday, Pete Rose said that he wasn’t counting Ichiro’s hits in Japan. Ichiro, who started his career in Japan had 1,278 in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. At 28-years-old, Ichiro came to the United States after being signed by the Seattle Mariners, and has accumulated 2,979 hits in MLB, which is impressive considering his age when he started playing in the league.

Rose, who won three World Series rings with the Cincinnati Reds and retired as the all-time hits leader, told USA TODAY that the Japanese media and fans are trying to make Rose the Hit Queen. 

In the interview, Rose said that he had nothing against Ichiro and isn’t trying to take away from his achievements because he has had a Hall of Fame career, but he doesn’t believe that the hits Ichiro had in Japan should count towards his total because they weren’t done in MLB.

The reasoning behind Rose’s contention that Ichiro’s stats in Japan not count is the fact that he believes the Japanese league is inferior to MLB. According to Rose, many players that fail in MLB go to Japan and have successful careers.

Rose used former MLB player Tuffy Rhodes as an example. During his six year career in MLB, Rhodes had a .224 batting average and hit 13 total homeruns. In 2001, while playing in Japan, Rhodes hit a league tying 55 homeruns.

Rose insinuated that Rhodes was able to hit 55 homeruns in Japan because of the inferior pitching talent in the league.

In Japan, Ichiro’s feat is major news, and local television stations have been providing daily chronicles as the star approached the record. 

In the United States, the situation was reversed, and there was little fanfare about Ichiro approaching the historic feat. Some baseball purists in America feel the same way Rose feels about Ichiro breaking the record.

Mark Grace, the assistant hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, said he couldn’t believe that MLB isn’t making a big deal of the achievement. Grace said he didn’t care if some of the hits came in Japan because Ichiro was still getting them against professionals. He also said he is in awe of Ichiro.

Marlin's Manager Don Mattingly, who had 2,153 career hits, said it was hard to compare the two leagues but the fact that he was able to get so many hits is a big achievement. He also said there are a lot of Japanese players that come to the United States and do well in MLB, so it isn’t fair for Rose to call the Japanese league a minor league.

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