MLB: Ichiro Sets 200 Hits Milestone

MLB: Ichiro Sets 200 Hits Milestone

words_Nick Engvall

Ichiro Suzuki Major League Baseball's best hitter ever?To have 200 hits in a season is an accomplishment that many professional baseball players will never achieve. Currently, there is only a couple of dozen active players to reach that milestone, and for many, to put together that many hits in a season might be the greatest season of a player’s career. To achieve multiple seasons above the 200-hit mark is pretty much resume material for the Hall of Fame. With that being said, Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners’ center fielder Ichiro Suzuki all but guaranteed himself a spot in Cooperstown after his playing days come to a close.

Suzuki reached the 200-hit mark this season with a single in the fith inning Wednesday against Shawn Hill of the Toronto Blue Jays. This makes 10 straight seasons with 200 hits for Ichiro. Only Pete Rose has accomplished that feat as many times, but it took Charlie Hustle 17 years to reach the feat 10 times.

Ichiro Suzuki has only been in the league for 10 years, and he’s accomplished it in nearly half the time it took Rose. Keep in mind, Pete Rose is the player that many – at least those that can overlook his faults – would consider one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen.

Naysayers will point to Ichiro’s eight seasons playing in Japan as an asterisk to the argument that Suzuki could be the best hitter that Major League Baseball has ever seen. With a career average of .331, it’s hard to deny his abilities at the plate are above and beyond most players the game has seen. If you take into account that he’s led the league in hits for six of his ten years in the league as well as his consistency, then there are valid points to placing his name alongside the greats like Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Stan Musial.

Not to mention the fact that he’s played his entire career in Seattle, where there has been a substantial lack of offense. Staying out of the black hole that seems to swallow the batting skills of other players that have put on the M’s jersey hasn’t seemed to distract Ichiro from becoming one of the best hitters the game has ever seen.

At his current pace, if he plays until he’s 45 like Pete Rose did, he would surpass Rose’s all-time record of 4,256 hits, ironically by about 200 hits.

MLB: Ichiro Sets 200 Hits Milestone

Baseball Great Ken Griffey Jr. Retires

words_Jordan Hagedorn

One of the greatest baseball players of all-time Ken Griffey Jr. has decided to retire.

The Seattle Mariners selected George Kenneth “Ken” Griffey Jr. with the first overall pick of the 1987 amateur draft and two years later he began to make an impact. “The Kid” became extremely popular in the ’90s because of his young, fresh personality on the field and his signature backwards hat. He hit towering home runs with his sweet swing and made stunning catches in the outfield. Griffey was the epitome of a great athlete and was as marketable as they came off the field.

Through the years Junior has had endorsement deals with Nike, Wheaties, Nintendo, Pizza Hut and Upper Deck to name a few. His signature grin, swagger and amazing play making ability on the field has made him one of the most loved baseball players ever.

Griffey is a 13 time All-Star, 10 time Gold Glover, 7 time Silver Slugger Award winner and a 3 time Home Run Derby Champion. In 1997 he won the AL MVP batting .304 with 56 dingers and 147 RBIs. Junior is highly regarded as having the sweetest swing the baseball world has ever seen.

Starting in 1993 Griffey had some amazing years in the home run category. He had an astonishing 7 years where he hit 45, 40, 49, 56, 56 48 and 40 home runs in a season. His 630 home runs rank 5th on the all-time list and even more impressive is that he doesn’t have a steroid cloud hanging above his head like most of the other big time sluggers. He also has 2,781 career hits and 1,836 career RBIs. There’s no doubt the sweet swinging lefty who has done it the right way will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

In the ’90s Griffey had his own Nike signature line of cleats and turf shoes. Nike has brought some of the models back in recent years including the Air Griffey Max I which has sold really well and the Air Griffey Max GD II.

Check out Griffey shoes at Eastbay.

Also check out Sole Collector’s interview with Griffey:

Griffey Interview Part 1

Griffey Interview Part 2