The 100 Greatest in 100 Days: #97 Ichiro

Coming in at #97, is Ichiro Suzuki, or simply Ichiro. The sweet-swinging savant from Japan got a late start to his Major League career after spending nine seasons tearing up the Japan Pacific League. His career in the U.S. started in earnest in 2001 at the age of 27 when he signed with the Seattle Mariners. Ichiro hit the ground running, literally, as he tallied 242 hits and 56 stolen bases in his rookie season on his way to winning the AL MVP. In only his first season Ichiro became the first player to reach 240 hits and 55 stolen bases in a single season since Ty Cobb in 1911. Three years later in 2004, Ichiro tallied 262 hits breaking George Sisler’s single season hits record that had stood for 84 years. That was just the beginning of Ichiro’s assault on the record books. He holds the record for most consecutive seasons leading the league in hits. He also holds the record for most 200 hit seasons, most consecutive 200 hit seasons, and most 200 hit seasons to start a career. Ichiro was also a standout right fielder as he holds the 3rd highest fielding percentage of any right fielder in Major league baseball history. Had he started his career in the states, it’s not hard to imagine Ichiro as the Hit King in place of Pete Rose. In addition to his 3089 hits in MLB, he also had 1,278 hits in Japan. His combined total of 4,367 professional hits, puts him 111 ahead of Pete Rose’s historic mark. 

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