Jaffe: Ichiro closing in on 3,000 hits faster than most

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at Sports Illustrated on July 22, 2016:

When then-Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki collected his 4,000th hit in professional baseball on Aug. 21, 2013—his 2,722nd in the major leagues, to go with the 1,278 he tallied in Nippon Professional Baseball—the celebration of his unique two-continent career that took place felt as though it were in lieu of the hoopla that would normally surround a player’s 3,000th hit in MLB. Two months shy of his 40th birthday and with his offensive production having dipped to replacement level, Suzuki did not appear likely to reach another major milestone. That night, when asked about the possibility of sticking around for 3,000, he conceded, “I can’t have that as a goal.”

Lo and behold, Ichiro did stick around. Now, in the midst of an improbable resurgence with the Marlins at age 42, Ichiro enters a weekend series against the Mets in Miami just four hits away from becoming the 30th player in major league history to reach that magical milestone.

Read the full article here: http://www.si.com/mlb/2016/07/22/ichiro-suzuki-3000-hits-club-marlins

Originally published: July 22, 2016. Last Updated: July 22, 2016.