Pete Rose: Ichiro Suzuki’s Japan Hits Should Not Count

Ichiro Suzuki will soon become the all-time leader in hits. Of course, it depends on whom you ask. Pete Rose, the current holder of that record does not think so.

Ichiro has 2,977 hits in Major League Baseball to go with 1,278 hits during his nine professional seasons played in Japan. Added together and the outfielder for the Miami Marlins is a hit away from tying the all-time major league record held by Rose of 4,256.

Rose said that is seems Japan wants to make him the Hit Queen. He added that he was not trying to taking anything away from Ichiro accomplishments, as Rose believes he has had a career deserving of the Hall of Fame, but the next thing will be adding in hits from high school.

Rose added that he did not think anyone with any credibility would say that baseball in Japan is the equivalent to Major League Baseball in the U.S.

He continued by saying too many players fail in the U.S. and then are household names in Japan, such as Tuffy Rhodes. He did nothing in MLB but in 2001 hit 55 home runs. Rose said that means the caliber of Japan’s personnel must be questioned.

Although some focus has been placed by the public on Ichiro’s pursuit of his 3,000th hit in the U.S., little attention has been given to his pursuit of the overall hit record. However, with some, that does not sit very well.

Mark Grace the assistant hitting coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks said he cannot believe that more attention is not being given to Ichiro’s hits. He called it a shame.

Grace said he did not care if some of the hits were in Japan or anywhere else for that matter. The hits came at a high level and that is huge. Grace added that he was in awe of Ichiro and his accomplishments.

Ichiro, who is 42, arrived in 2001 in Seattle at the age of 27. He won rookie of the year and MVP after capturing the batting title and leading baseball in hits with 242.

During his first 10 seasons, he had over 200 hits each season, made the All-Star Game 10 times, won a Gold Glove 10 times and won two batting title.

One asks the question could he have had 1,200 more hits if he arrived in the U.S. at an earlier age. That seems very possible but something no one will ever know, but some people are thinking it does not matter.

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