You would be hard pressed to find positive milestones on the current Seattle Mariners squad if you really looked. Their last few years of futility have garnered nothing but negative responses and negative outcomes.
Ichiro Suzuki finally brought a positive to this franchise when he singled against the Arizona Diamonbacks three days ago.
That hit was his 2500th in Major League Baseball.
Ichiro accomplished the feat in 12 seasons, the fourth fastest time period in the history of the game. Only Al Simmons, Ty Cobb, and George Sissler reached the milestone quicker. And each one of those guys are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
A couple questions must be posed at this point.
Will Ichiro hit 3,000 before he retires? We all know Ichiro is a big numbers guy, and I would not be surprised if he wants to play until he’s hit the ultimate hitter’s milestone.
With his current pace, he could accomplish the feat with 3 more seasons of service.
Does Ichiro belong in Cooperstown?
That debate rages on almost daily as Ichiro is nearing the end of his playing days, seemingly.
Being the 95th player in MLB history to get 2,500 hits, at the rate he did, has to give him the Hall of Fame nod, though, right?
Some would argue his lack of power, including his 99 career home runs would drag his chances down. Some would counter with the fact that his hit titles and years of batting .300 and 1,278 hits in Japan would put him over the top.
While the team has seen some pretty dark years, Ichiro continued to shine, giving the Mariners at least one person garnering good chatter about the club instead of the incessant drubbing they always receive for being so bad.
There are several people who want to see him exit Seattle (Like my fellow NWSB blogger) while many others think Ichiro is the beacon of hope left in the Emerald City and should finish his career as a Mariner…no matter what.
Moments In Time
After last year, people started saying Ichiro is on his way out of Seattle and on his way out of baseball due to his expiring contract and “drop” in numbers.
In fact, last season marked the year he snapped his own MLB record of 10 straight 200+ hit seasons. It was his first season without getting over 200 hits in his MLB career.
He may look to be “declining,” but a guy putting out 175+ hits a year still doesn’t sound like he’s declining too much to me.
Whatever the case or point of view, you can’t argue with his body of work.
He had 1,278 hits in Japan over the course of his 7 year Japan career. He had a career average of .353 and won 7 Gold Gloves in Japan. He was an All Star all 7 seasons, winning their MVP award three times. He won 7 batting titles and won the Japan Series Championship, their version of the World Series, once.
In the United States, Ichiro has now surpassed 2,500 hits, sitting at 2,504. For his career so far in the MLB, Ichiro is batting .323. He has 1,162 Runs, 630 RBI, 294 doubles, 77 triples, and 432 steals.
He is a 10-time MLB All Star. He has won 10 Gold Gloves, 3 Silver Sluggers, was batting champ twice, and won the MVP, Rookie of the Year and Stolen Base title in 2001.
He holds the MLB record with 262 hits in a season as well as an American League record of 45 consecutive stolen bases.
Hate him or love him, you have to give him his dues. He has done things most Major Leaguers couldn’t even fathom doing. And he’s still going.