4,000 hits: Ichiro Suzuki, the 39-year-old Japanese outfielder with the New York Yankees, reached a milestone Wednesday, joining a small and prestigious family of baseball players who have recorded 4,000 hits. Sports Illustrated carried the story on Aug. 21.
Ichiro joins the ranks with baseball legends Ty Cobb and Pete Rose as only the third player to reach the landmark number.
Ichiro hit a liner off Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey that bounced just out of the reach of Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie. The record-making hit, seen here, comes in Ichiro’s 13th season.
Passing baseball great Hank Aaron, who now sits in fourth place with 3,771 hits, Ichiro is within reach of Ty Cobb’s 4,191 hits and leader Pete Rose, who totaled 4,256 hits.
SI.com on hit number 4,000: “Suzuki's teammates streamed out of the dugout and surrounded him at first base, Curtis Granderson giving him the first hug. A grinning Suzuki then faced the cheering fans and bowed, tipping his helmet. He bowed several more times, the last one toward the Blue Jays dugout.”
Ichiro was overwhelmed with the reaction from the fans and his teammates.
“When my teammates came out to first base it was very special, and to see the fans,”' Suzuki said. “I wasn't expecting so much joy and happiness from them and that's what made it very special tonight.”
How does Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey, a former teammate of Suzuki's, feel about Ichiro knocking his 4,000th hit off of Dickey’s pitch?
“You never want to be the guy that gives up the milestone,” Dickey said. “That being said, what an incredible achievement. The manner that he's done it is equally impressive. Just the longevity, the endurance, the durability. Having played with him in Seattle, it was a real treat to play with him and it couldn't have happened to a more professional hitter.”
Ichiro has established a number of batting records, including baseball’s single-season record for hits with 262. He has also had 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons, the longest streak by any current or former player.