The man who goes only by his first name, Ichiro, came to the Major Leagues from Japan with much hype and a ton of reporters.
Ichiro did not let his fans and country down in '01.
All that Ichiro did was break the rookie record for hits in a season, win the MVP award, win the batting title, lead the league in stolen bases, lead the majors in All-Star votes, and capture a Gold Glove.
Aside from that, it was a quiet year.
Those accolades above is the reason I selected Ichiro's rookie season as the best since 1980.
I wouldn't be surprised if it was the best of all time or at least top five.
Stats—.350, 127 runs, 242 hits, 8 hr, 69 RBI, and 56 SB
After eight years in the Major Leagues, Ichiro is heading to Cooperstown.
He came into the '09 season with 1,805 hits at the age of 35.
In 2004, Ichiro broke the season hit record, which was held by Willie Keeler, by gathering 262 hits and batting .372.