From Jerry Crasnick at ESPN.com on April 7, with appearances by SABR members Lyle Spatz — recent winner of the 2011 Seymour Medal — and Bill Chuck:
Ichiro has a chance to surpass 200 hits for the 11th time this season, breaking Pete Rose’s record of 10 seasons with 200 or more hits. Rose achieved the feat in a span of 15 seasons in the 1960s and ’70s. Ichiro, amazingly, has done it for 10 straight seasons since joining the Mariners in 2001.
Lyle Spatz, chairman of the records committee for the Society of American Baseball Research, considers Ichiro’s feat even more impressive than Thome’s 600th homer. But it’s likely to take place in a relative publicity vacuum. Ichiro has a rock star persona, but his reclusive personality rarely shines through beyond the confines of the clubhouse. And he’s not going to get much attention from the national media while playing for a losing team in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, we’re talking about the dreaded “East Coast bias” factor.
“If Ichiro played in New York or Boston or Philadelphia, it would be a bigger story as far as media hype,” Spatz said. “If he does it in September, it’s going to be on ‘Baseball Tonight’ and it might make the small type in the next day’s newspaper, unfortunately. But it’s not going to be like Jeter’s run to 3,000, where there’s going to be a countdown until he reaches it.”
Read the full article here: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&page=starting9/110407
Originally published: April 8, 2011. Last Updated: April 8, 2011.