Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki unofficially passed Pete Rose for the All-Time hits record on Wednesday.
If Suzuki's totals from Japan and Major League Baseball were combined, he would now have 4,257 hits. That is one more than the total that Rose had in his Hall-of-Fame caliber career. Since stats accumulated in Japan are not acknowledged by MLB, Rose remains the official record holder.
In Japan, Suzuki 1,278 hits in nine seasons. Since joining MLB in 2001, Suzuki has amassed 2,979 more hits. MLB is considered to be a more competitive league than professional baseball in Japan by many. It has been said by analysts and scouts that Japanese baseball would be closely related to a AAAA level in America.
Rose made some controversial comments in an interview on Tuesday in regards to Suzuki's hits.
“I don’t think you’re going to find anybody with credibility say that Japanese baseball is equivalent to major-league baseball. There are too many guys that fail here, and then become household names there, like Tuffy Rhodes. How can he not do anything here, and hit (a record-tying) 55 home runs (in 2001) over there? It has something to do with the caliber of personnel," Rose told USA Today.
This season, Suzuki has found the fountain of youth and has been one of Miami's best players. While serving as Miami's fourth outfielder, Suzuki has a .344 average and a .406 on-base percentage. The outfielder should reach 3,000 hits sometime this Summer. Suzuki would become the first player to ever do so in a Marlins uniform.