Ichiro Suzuki has officially put himself in a unique place in baseball history.
The 39-year-old collected his 4,000th hit against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, Aug. 21. For those fans who dismiss his Japanese statistics, 2,722 of his hits were achieved in the U.S.
From the get-go, it wasn’t particularly surprising that Ichiro would eventually eclipse the 4,000-hit mark. In his rookie season of 2001, the Japanese import led the league with 242 hits and a .350 batting average. Not only did Ichiro win the Rookie of the Year honors, he also took home the MVP.
Ichiro would go on to lead the league six more times in hits, including a 262-hit season in 2004. He collected at least 200 hits from 2001 to 2010, averaging 224 during that span.
The veteran’s production has slowed in recent years, as he's “only” compiled 184 and 178 hits in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Regardless, it’s still plausible that Ichiro will become a 3,000-hit man in Major League Baseball; he’s just 278 short of the achievement.
What follows are the five all-time hit leaders and how Ichiro compares to them.
All statistics from Baseball-Reference.com.