Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
Japan’s Ichiro Suzuki underlined his position as his country’s greatest sporting export after shattering one of Major League Baseball’s oldest records.
The Seattle Mariners outfielder was described as a “Hercules” by fellow players after becoming the first man to record 200 hits for nine straight seasons.
The 35-year-old reached the milestone with a single in the second game of a double-header against the Texas Rangers on Sunday to beat the previous mark of eight consecutive seasons set by Willie Keeler in 1901.
Ichiro himself, who left Japan for the major leagues in 2001, spoke of a “sense of liberation” after his latest MLB record, set to be marked with a commemorative stamp in his home country.
Ichiro Suzuki has reached 2,000 career hits in 1,402 MLB games — the second-fastest pace ever — while over his nine seasons in MLB the Seattle Mariners star has ended on base once in about every three trips to the plate, based on his career batting average.
Add in his 1,278 Japanese hits, in shorter seasons, and Ichiro at 36 is pointing his bat at very rare professional air, including 3,000 career MLB hits and — on a cumulative basis — Pete Rose’s record 4,256 hits. He already set the MLB season hit record with an amazing 262 in 2004 and will likely be the first player, in a matter of days, to ever record 200 hits in nine consecutive seasons.