Aug 21 2013, 8:58pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
New York Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki has joined the exclusive 4,000 hits club.
Ichiro joins the ranks of Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only major leaguers to record that many hits. However, Ichiro's numbers include those from his stint in the Japanese Pacific League where he had 1,278 hits, per ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand.
"It is a record that is adding two leagues into one; those guys did it in one league. I don't think you have to put me in that same category as them."
At that point, the game was stopped momentarily as the crowd at Yankee Stadium gave him a standing ovation in recognition of his achievement. His teammates left the dugout to congratulate him at first base, according to Marchand.
Ken Griffey, Jr., his former teammate with the Seattle Mariners, offered a congratulatory message which was shown on the stadium's video board. The Mariners also tweeted "Ichiro's historic milestone is testament to his position as one of the greatest hitters in the game of baseball," per USA Today Sports.
Ichiro downplayed the 4,000 hits prior to the game through a translator.
"After I got my first hit, if at that point I said to you guys,'My goal is to have 4,000 hits,' I think everybody would have called me an idiot. Now, after years and years of just getting hits every day, I've come to this point. What is important is just going out there and doing what you can do every single day."
The 39-year-old Ichiro is a 10-time MLB All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove award winner who was acquired from the Mariners last summer. He signed a two-year, $13 million contract with the Yankees prior to the 2013 MLB season.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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