Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Ichiro hits a milestone but with an asterisk
by Mark Edwards
Aug 24, 2013 | 2541 views |  0 comments | 87 87 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ichiro Suzuki has 4,001 professional hits. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Ichiro Suzuki has 4,001 professional hits. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Pete Rose is right.

In the days following Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki's 4,000th professional baseball hit, some are pressing Major League Baseball to recognize Suzuki as the all-time hits leader if he passes Rose's major league total of 4,256 hits.

Suzuki has 4,001 hits, although 1,228 of them came while playing professionally in Japan.

Rose told USA Today that if Suzuki can count his Nippon Professional Baseball hits, then he should be able to count the 427 he compiled in three years in the minors. That would give Rose 4,673 hits.

And that's reasonable.

Suzuki is a fine player who is Hall of Fame material. But baseball in Japan -- as good as it is -- isn't Major League Baseball.

Perhaps if Suzuki had begun his career in the United States, he would've blown away Rose's record. But he didn't, and there's no sense wondering what would've happened otherwise.

And as far as Suzuki's hit total, he still has a much bigger name to reach before he gets to Rose. Hank Aaron had 4,136 hits. Oh, 371 of those came in the minors while another 41 came in the Negro League. But if we're going to include Japan hits, those should count, too. Shouldn't they?

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.
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