Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Suzuki Breaks Single Season Hit Record

On Oct. 1, 2004, former Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki gets hit 258 of the season, breaking George Sisler's 84-year-old single-season record for most hits in a single season.

Suzuki would end the season with 262 hits, and 225 singles, both single season records, which stand to this day.

Since Suzuki broke the record in 2004, no player other than himself has come within 25 hits of the record. He recorded 238 hits in 2007, again as a member of the Mariners.

Suzuki has had 10 consecutive 200 plus hit seasons in the MLB from 2001-2010 with his lowest total over 200 coming in 2005 with 206 hits. Since 2010, Suzuki has yet to collect over 200 hits in a single season, with his highest single season total since 2010 coming in 2011 with 184 hits, when he played on both the Mariners and New York Yankees.

Suzuki, who came over to MLB in 2001 after several seasons over seas with the Orix BlueWave in the NPB Pacific League, was an instant “hit” with fans in the United States.

Suzuki, who was already a seven-time NPB All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove winner, seven-time Best Nine Award winner, seven-time Pacific League Batting Champion, five-time Pacific League On-Base and Safe Hit Champion, a three-time Matsutaro Shroiki Award winner, a three-time Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize winner, a three time Pacific League MVP, the 1995 Pacific League RBI and Stolen Base Champion and the Japan Series Champion in 1996, enjoyed similar success in the MLB.

On top of his awards Suzuki also had eye popping stats that included a .353 batting average on 1,278 hits with 204 home runs, 529 RBIs, 658 runs scores with 199 stolen bases.

In his rookie year, 2001, Suzuki was named an All-Star, a Gold Glove Award winner, a Silver Slugger Award winner, the American League Stolen Base Leader, American League Batting Champion, the American League Rookie of the Year, and won the American League MVP Award.

His awards would continue as he earned nine more All-Star appearances, nine more Gold Gloves, two more Silver Slugger Awards, another American League batting title, the 2005 Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award and the 2007 MLB All-Star Game MVP.

Through the end of the 2013 MLB season as a member of the Mariners and currently Yankees, Suzuki has compiled more eye popping stats, including a .319 batting average on 2,742 hits with 323 doubles, 83 triples, 111 home runs, 695 RBIs, 1,261 runs scores with 472 stolen bases.

Suzuki is also the first player to record over 4,000 hits combined between the NPB and MLB, and only third player to record 4,000 hits along side of Ty Cobb and Pete Rose, who both had over 4,000 hits in the MLB alone.

Suzuki will most likely be a first ballot Hall of Famer once he is eligible to join Cooperstown the Baseball Hall of Fame.