New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki notched his 4,000th career hit Wednesday, joining Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only players to reach the milestone.
Ichiro reached the historic plateau when he singled against Toronto Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey in the first inning at Yankees Stadium.
The game was stopped as Ichiro received a standing ovation while teammates bounded out from the home dugout and met him at first base to give him hugs and high fives.
In his seven seasons in the Japanese Pacific League, Ichiro collected 1,278 hits. During his 13 years in the United States, he now has 2,722 major league hits, moving past Yankees legend Lou Gehrig on the all-time list.
Rose is the all-time hits leader with 4,256, while Cobb had 4,189.
Ichiro, who has one more season remaining on his two-year, $13 million deal, said he’s not keen on chasing Rose but has his eyes on the 3,000-hit milestone in the Major League.
“It’s not a goal that I have,” Ichiro said. “It’s not a number that I’m looking at. I’m just coming to the ballpark every day seeing if I’m in the lineup, keeping my schedule so that I’m in the lineup so that I can perform and do what I can to contribute to this team.”
Since his first MLB season in 2001, Ichiro has 375 more hits than any other player and needs 34 more this season to tie Richie Ashburn for second place with his 13th consecutive 150-hit season to begin a career.
Ichiro’s first hit came in 1992 for the Orix Buffaloes.
“After I got my first hit, at that point, if I would’ve said to you guys my goal is to have 4,000 hits, I think everybody would’ve called me an idiot, but now after just years and years of just getting hits everyday, I’ve come to this point,” Ichiro said.