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Ichiro Nears 3,000 Career Hits: And Beyond? Monday, July 28, 2008

Posted by mrgenre in Mariners.
Tags: , , ,

Now, there are many out there who are sticking up their noses as Ichiro nears 3,000 hits as a professional baseball player, because 1,278 happened in Japan, which to most is as part of an inferior baseball organization. In the same way that Sadaharu Oh’s 868 homeruns are not seen as “true” stats, Ichiro’s achievements are being thrown to the wolves. And… I have to admit, it’s easier to suceed in Japan. Oh’s homeruns and Ichiro’s first 1200 hits happened in stadiums that are often hitter friendly, with shorter fences and against worse pitchers than in the MLB. But, to show just how amazing Ichiro’s achievement of 3,000 hits will likely be tonight (he’s only 2 away), let’s look at the numbers in Ichiro’s probable future, because in my eyes, that “true” stat of 3,000 hits is only a few, short years away.

Ichiro, as of this morning, is on pace to hit only 199, which would bring an end to his current record of 7 years in a row with 200 or more hits. Assuming he does indeed finish with 199 hits, Ichiro will have averaged 224 hits a season over 8 seasons. Now, of course, that average is likely to decrease over time for a bevy of reasons: Ichiro’s age, the possibility of him becoming a 3-hitter rather than leadoff, etc. I’m going to stick with that 224 number just for the sake of these estimates, but we can probably look at these numbers as a probable max for Ichiro’s career numbers as far as hits are concerned. So broadcasting 224 hits, and assuming he hits 199 hits this year, let’s see when Ichiro should hit 3,000 hits in the MLB alone (although I’ll include his Japanese number beside it in parenthesis).

At the close of the 2009 Season: 2,015 hits (3,293 Japan+MLB)

2010: 2,239 (3,517)

2011: 2,463 (3,741)

2012: 2,687 (3965)

2013: 2,911 (4,189)

2014: 3,135 (4,413)

So there you have it. In 2014, a mere six seasons away, and a year where Ichiro will play at 40 years old, he will crack 3,000 MLB hits and finish 19th on the all-time hits record list just 6 hits shy of Tony Gwynn. I think what could be really interesting about that season, though, is that when he gets his 3,000th MLB hit, he will also gain his 4,278th career hit, which will beat Pete Rose’s all-time hit record by 22. What a couple weeks that could be! I can hear the fuming debates already.

For those of you who were curious, here’s the near impossible forecast of Ichiro continuing to play into his forties (at this unbelievable average of 224 hits a season).

2015: 3,359 9th all-time

2016: 3,583 5th all-time

2017: 3,807 3rd all-time

2018: 4,031

2019: 4,255 One hit short of Pete Rose

2020: 4,479

So there you are. If Ichiro stays on this unbelievable pace, he will break Pete Rose’s record of MLB hits on the second hit of the 2020 season. He will be 46 years old. And if he stays in as amazing shape as he has been so far and keeps avoiding injury year after year, this becomes more of a possibility and less of a pipe dream. But let’s remember that this is his MAX potential. Achieving beyond this rate would be impossible. Oh, and he’ll finish the 2020 season with 5,757 career hits.

Now that’s something to smile about.



1. honky magoo - Wednesday, July 30, 2008

i once met ichiro on a bus to tacoma. he was sitting in the seat opposite mine knitting a toaster cozy and eating a zagnut bar. i asked him what the hell a zagnut bar was and he and i started a 3 hour conversation on the pros and cons of nougat and its placement in various candy bars. (juicy tidbit: ichiro loves fast break bars and hates take five bars.) so we get to tacoma and ichiro is going out for some bananaberry pudding. well, as it turns out _I_ love bananaberry pudding as well, so i tag along with him to go meet his sister at a downtown eatery in tacoma named Johnny Banana’s Famous Bananaberry Pudding and Other Delicacies. well, who do we run into there? well, i will tell you who. Johnny Banana himself. it was a privilege and an honor, one i havent forgotten until this very day.

2. mrgenre - Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Great story, honky, but totally irrelevant… I mean, who DOESN’T like bananaberry pudding?

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