You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

breaking news

Records reveal hospital debate over sexual misconduct allegations

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

Olajuwon recalls Robinson bringing out his best in 1995 series

After Game 6 of the 1995 Western Conference finals, San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson sat at the podium inside The Summit, the legendary Houston arena, and attempted to process what had just happened. Robinson and the Spurs had dominated the NBA that season, winning 62 games, most in the league, and Robinson had deservedly taken home the Most...
Distracting or dirty, NHL agitators can provide spark in playoffs
Distracting or dirty, NHL agitators can provide spark in playoffs

Late in the second period of a scoreless Game 3 of his first-round playoff series at Madison Square Garden, Montreal Canadiens forward Steve Ott went to work. With New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello hovering around Montreal goaltender Carey Price, Ott stepped in front of Zuccarello and without warning began tousling his long locks. Zuccarello...
NFL draft capsules for NFC teams 
NFL draft capsules for NFC teams 

LAST SEASON: 49ers tied franchise record for losses, leading to organizational overhaul. Longtime GM Trent Baalke was fired, along with first-year coach Chip Kelly, and replaced by first-time GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Team struggled just about everywhere in 2016. Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick failed to provide strong quarterback play...
Inside the throwing program that helped revive pitcher’s career
Inside the throwing program that helped revive pitcher’s career

Dan Straily wore street clothes and a big smile when he walked into a nondescript warehouse-turned-workout facility in an industrial park outside Seattle last week. He visited for pleasure, not business, to say hello to some of the minds who have helped make him the pitcher he is today and to show Miami Marlins coaches Juan Nieves and Ed Lucas a significant...
NFL draft capsules for AFC teams 
NFL draft capsules for AFC teams 

LAST SEASON: Following 0-14 start under first-year coach Hue Jackson, Browns barely avoided becoming only second team to lose all 16 games. Owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam vowed to be patient with new front office and coaching staff and were mostly true to word as team underwent minimal offseason changes. Cleveland's biggest issue remains as it has been...
More Stories