Alright, now how about some good news? Ichiro Suzuki, is closing in on 4,000 hits for his career! Combine his Major League career with his hits in Japan and he is only 15 short. So let’s take a look at the life and career of the man known simply as “Ichiro.”
His love of baseball started well before he took the spotlight. He grew up in the small town of Toyoyama, Japan. There, his father Nobuyuki Suzuki, worked endlessly to help his spirited seven year old learn the fundamentals of the game they both loved.
The magic number was 50.The daily schedule for young Ichiro included throwing 50 pitches, fielding 50 infield and 50 outfield balls. When it came to hitting, the number became a multiple of 50. He hit 250 balls pitched by his father and 250 more from a pitching machine.
The early dedication paid off, as Ichiro excelled in little league, high school, and later in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. There, playing for the Orix Blue Wave, he batted a remarkable .355 in nine seasons. He also hit 204 home runs and accumulated 1,278 hits in all. He was a seven- time all star, seven- time gold glove winner, and three- time MVP.
Of course, he didn’t stop there. Since joining the Major Leagues in 2001 as a member of the Seattle Mariners. He got started by winning the American League Rookie of the Year award that year. He has been a ten-time all star, ten time gold glove winner, and a two-time batting champion, in 2001 and 2004. He also set the MLB single-season hits record in 2004 with 262.
If you combine his 2, 707 MLB hits with his 1278 in Japan, you get a total of 3,985 as of this writing.
So what should the Yankees do to celebrate? How could they acknowledge the career of a man who has earned so much admiration in both the east and the west?