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Fan reaction: Ichiro Suzuki becomes all-time hits leader for Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki(notes) is now the top hitter in the history of the Seattle Mariners. On April 2, Ichiro went 2-for-5 against the Oakland Athletics, giving him 2,248 hits for the Mariners since he came over from Japan. That put him one hit ahead of Edgar Martinez to become the all-time hits leader in the history of the franchise.
It has been an amazing run for Ichiro, especially with how quickly he has accrued all of those hits, and it seems very likely that he could reach the 3,000 hit plateau in Major League Baseball before he decides to retire. That might take some work for the veteran outfielder, but when he was a 27-year-old rookie coming over from the Japan Baseball League, there weren't many analysts that thought he would ever have as much success as he has had.
In his time with the Mariners, he has played in 1,590 games through Saturday, April 2, racking up an amazing number of hits in that span. To put it in perspective, it took Martinez 2,055 games to do it, and he also had more than 400 more at bats that Ichiro. Edgar has always been considered by fans to be the best pure-hitter that Seattle has ever had, but now there will certainly have to be a debate between him and Ichiro for that crown.
It is certainly going to be interesting to see what number that Ichiro sits on when he finally decides to hang up the spikes, and whether his combined totals from Japan and MLB will be higher than those of Pete Rose. That would certainly be quite an accomplishment, and it is really starting to prove that this is a guy that deserves to be in Cooperstown at the end of his career. Hopefully, it is Edgar that wears the HOF hat first (followed by Griffey), but that Ichiro gets to join them both when he is done.
In the 2011 season, Ichiro already has five hits in the first three games for a batting average of .417. Wouldn't it be spectacular if he were able to hold on to that pace and be the first players in years to bat north of .400? That would certainly be the icing on the cake for the sportswriters when it comes to vote on his inclusion in the Hall, but with his stats already, he should be a first ballot guy.
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*Ryan is a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan who never misses an opportunity to attend a game at Safeco Field. He has been attending games since 1985, and has fond memories of The Kingdome, Edgar Martinez, and the historic 1995 team. Sodo Mojo!
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