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Ichiro Suzuki deserves to be first-ballot Hall of Famer: Fan’s take
Ichiro Suzuki(notes) is getting closer to retiring from Major League Baseball and his tenure with the Seattle Mariners will come to an end. When it does, he deserves to be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee. The Baseball Hall of Fame is a place where people who change the game get enshrined, and that is something that Ichiro has definitely done through is career on the diamond.
Ichiro's Baseball Reference page is packed with accolades that he has received during his now 11-year career in the U.S. He is a 10-time American League All-Star, he won the 2011 A.L. MVP, and was named the 2011 A.L. Rookie of the Year. He won Gold Gloves in 10-straight years from 2001 to 2010, has won three Silver Slugger Awards, and won two batting titles as well. That doesn't even mention the fact that he is one of only two players to ever have 10 seasons of 200 or more hits (the other is Pete Rose).
Ichiro will pass 2,400 career hits very shortly, and though he had a rough 2011 campaign, his career numbers stack up with some of the most consistent hitters that the game has seen. Sure, he doesn't hit for power like Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron, but his career batting average of .327 is quite impressive. That's in the top 40 all-time and the second highest active batting average in baseball. He has a realistic shot at 3,000 career hits if he plays a few more years, and none of that even takes into account what he did in Japan before signing with the Seattle Mariners.
Many dedicated Mariners fans are hoping that Ichiro finishes the 2011 season with a hot streak that allows him to reach 200 hits for the 11th straight season. Even if he doesn't though, Ichiro stands out as one of the best pure hitters that the game has ever seen. If only Seattle could have given him more chances to prove it in the postseason, where he was able to hit .421 during his first 10 games against baseball's elite. Maybe 2012 will get him another chance to shine in the postseason, and maybe that will give him a World Series ring, because that's an accolade that goes a long way with the Baseball Hall of Fame voters.
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