breaking news

Wright State settled for nearly $2 million with feds over student aid issues

Pete Rose on Ichiro's hit mark: 'They are trying to make me the Hit Queen'


At 42 years old, Ichiro Suzuki is closing in on 3,000 hits in Major League Baseball. He's also four hits shy of Pete Rose's 4,256 - except Suzuki didn't play in the majors until the age of 27 - 1,278 of those hits were in Japan.

The Suzuki's chase is headline news in Japan, but hasn't registered among news outlets and baseball fans in the states.

Mark Grace, a former MLB first baseman and now an assistant hitting coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks, is among those who think Suzuki's numbers should get more attention.

"Shame on us for not making a bigger deal out of it," Grace told USA Today. "You're talking about breaking Pete Rose's record. I couldn't care less if he got some of those hits in Japan or in Antarctica. You're getting hits at high professional levels. That's huge."

Rose finds the comparisons ridiculous.

"I don't think you're going to find anybody with credibility say that Japanese baseball is equivalent to Major League Baseball," Rose said. "There are too many guys that fail here and then become househould names there. It has something to do with the caliber of the personnel.

"It sounds like in Japan they're trying to make me the Hit Queen. I'm not trying to take anything away from Ichiro, he's had a Hall of Fame career, but the next thing you know, they'll be counting his high school hits."

Ichiro debuted in 2001 for the Seattle Mariners at age 27. He was named American League MVP and Rookie of the Year the same season. He set the major league record for hits in a season in 2004 with 262.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today said Suzuki has avoided being dragged into the debate.

"I would be happy if people covered it or wrote about it, but I really would not care if it wasn't a big deal," Suzuki said. "To be quite honest, I'm just going out and doing what I do."

Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson says the HOF will celebrate Suzuki's professional total.

"It's a ridiculous amount of hits, and the fact that he did it in Japan and the major leagues has its own set of challenges from what Pete faced," Idelson said. "No matter how this country may view it, the Hall of Fame Museum will recognize (it). The fact he did it in Japan and the major leagues has its own set of challenges different from the ones that Pete faced. Acclimating to this culture is a challenge of itself."


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Boys high school basketball power rankings
Boys high school basketball power rankings

Here’s who we consider the top boys high school basketball area teams. Division I 1. Wayne (11-0): d. Akron SVSM 68-57; at Springboro on Fri., hosts Springfield on Wed. 2. Springfield (10-0): d. Cleveland Heights 73-67; at Fairmont on Fri., at CJ on Sat., at Belmont on Tue., at Wayne on Wed. 3. Belmont (7-1): d. Franklin 68-51; hosts Stivers...
Football recruiting: Springfield standout Leonard Taylor lays out final plans before signing day
Football recruiting: Springfield standout Leonard Taylor lays out final plans before signing day

Many high school football recruits wrapped up the process early this year by taking the opportunity to sign in late December.  Leonard Taylor is still available and figures to take his decision process all the way to the traditional signing day in early February.  The Springfield standout — a starter at quarterback and defensive tackle...
Kennard donates shoes to Franklin High School basketball teams
Kennard donates shoes to Franklin High School basketball teams

Luke Kennard hasn’t forgotten where he came from. A rookie in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Kennard recently donated basketball shoes to the junior varsity and varsity boys and girls teams at Franklin High School. Kennard is a 2015 Franklin graduate. Frankin athletic director and boys varsity coach Brian Bales posted photos of the teams with...
Dr. Dan Ross announces retirement as executive director from OHSAA
Dr. Dan Ross announces retirement as executive director from OHSAA

Ohio High School Athletic Association Executive Director Dr. Dan Ross will retire from that position on Sept. 15. His resignation was accepted and announced by Twitter during the monthly OHSAA board meeting on Thursday in Columbus. No other details were given. A release is expected on Thursday afternoon. Ross has been in that position since Aug. 1...
Prep basketball: Hornets remaining positive in midst of losing streak
Prep basketball: Hornets remaining positive in midst of losing streak

Kenny Molz is seeking a practical solution for his victory-starved Monroe High School boys basketball team. The Hornets are 4-8 and on a seven-game losing streak. They’ve suffered four 2-point losses this year. They’ve lost by 5 twice. They’ve lost in overtime twice, once in double OT. Fun times? Hardly. “Is some of it luck...
More Stories