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It's a little surprising that age can be a positive factor for a guy who came to the league so late, but Ichiro has piled up so many hits in 10 seasons that he now is in line with where other members of the 3,000-hit club were when they were chasing the mark.
If Ichiro were to average 200 hits in each of the next four seasons, he'd reach the milestone during that fourth season at the age of 41.
Depending on the day it happens, he could end up being the third-oldest player in history to reach the mark. His production would have to slip to around 180 hits per season to match Rickey Henderson's for reaching the mark at age 42.
It would require an epic fall for him to take as long as his age 45 season to do it, which is how old Cap Anson was when he set the record.
Of the 27 players in the club, over a third of them have done it after being "over the hill."
Anson got the latest start to a career, but he started three years younger than Ichiro, at 24, when he broke into the big leagues. Rickey Henderson had the earliest start at age 20.
While Ichiro started at an advanced age, the hit totals have piled up fast, and he's essentially caught many of the players who started far younger.