Ichiro Suzuki lined a double off San Diego Padres pitcher Fernando Rodney for his 4,257th hit of his baseball career from Japan and Major League Baseball which combined passed Pete Rose for all-time hits. In Japan Ichiro had 1,278 hits and 2,979 MLB hits. Many people are crowning Ichiro the “Hit King” which is spurring much debate, is Ichiro the true “Hit King,” or is it Charlie Hustle?
Ichiro right away was his respectable humble self saying, “For me, it’s not about the record, it’s about my teammates and the fans.” He has always been a such a humble and great man. He did not claim himself as “Hit King” or boast about it in any way.
Pete Rose made his opinion known to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale saying,
“It sounds like in Japan they’re trying to make me the Hit Queen. I’m not trying to take anything away from Ichiro, he’s had a Hall of Fame career, but the next thing you know, they’ll be counting his high school hits. I don’t think you’re going to find anybody with credibility say that Japanese baseball is equivalent to Major League Baseball. There are too many guys that fail here, and then become household names there, like Tuffy Rhodes. How can he not do anything here, and hit (a record-tying) 55 home runs (in 2001) over there? It has something to do with the caliber of personnel.”
As much as this pains me to say it, I agree with Pete Rose. All of Ichiro’s hits in Japan shouldn’t be in consideration when talking about MLB records. It is incredible that Ichiro has hit that much in his career and even more incredible that he is approaching 3,000 MLB hits after coming into the Majors as 27 year-old. Pete Rose, however, should still be considered MLB’s “Hit King” because he hit all 4,256 of them in the MLB. He really does have a strong point that I agree with concerning the type of play here and in Japan. The talent is simply better here and they are completely different leagues. There’s reason tons of Japan players dreams are to play in the MLB. Only MLB stats should be in consideration when talking about MLB records.
Don’t get me wrong, Ichiro deserves to be a first ballot Hall of Famer and should be considered to be one of the greatest hitters the world has ever seen. Not only has he been one of the greatest, but Ichiro is an international icon. Many around the world will recognize the name Ichiro. He plays with all his heart and has made great contributions to the MLB. I am not trying to take anything away from his stellar career, but unfortunately, the one and only Charlie Hustle deserves the title, “Hit King,” not Ichiro.
Let’s all enjoy the major milestones of future Hall of Famer:
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“The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is the sad end of a sorry episode. One of the game’s greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live with the consequences of those acts. By choosing not to come to a hearing before me, and by choosing not to proffer any testimony or evidence contrary to the evidence and information contained in the report of the Special Counsel to the Commissioner, Mr. Rose has accepted baseball’s ultimate sanction, lifetime ineligibility.”
Statement by then Commissioner
of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti,
August 24, 1989
Today, the commissioner of baseball, Robert Manfred, has decided to uphold the ban of Pete Rose from baseball with this following statement,
“Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing … or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989.”
Pete Rose was caught gambling on MLB teams and even his own, the Reds. He was rightfully banned and thankfully, that was upheld. Even worse is that he is STILL gambling to this day on the sport. Baseball is a sport with a beautiful history, celebrating all the good hearted players, but Pete Rose is not one of those players. He left the biggest black mark on baseball since the 1919 Black Sox, who were also all banished from baseball. None of the 1919 Black Sox players including Joe Jackson got reinstated or got a shot at the Hall of Fame, so why should Rose? The Hall of Fame is for CLEAN and RESPECTED players, not crooks. “Home Run King” Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire have not been voted into the Hall of Fame, most likely because of their link to PEDs. That sends a message to baseball players that you don’t’ belong in the MLB if you don’t abide by the rules. Gambling may or may not have had any affect on his performance, but what he did was wrong and he deserves the consequences. The fact that he is still betting and just goes to show that some people never get the message…..
Tommy Lasorda preaches my thoughts here:
Pete Rose paid for his mistake. Rightfully so, he is still paying for it now. Kudos to Manfred for keeping Rose out of baseball.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Invaluable reached out to me to help announce a pretty amazing auction during this All-Star week. Invaluable and Hunts Auctions are teaming up for this special event that has some truly extraordinary lots that any baseball fan would love. Here are their words below describing it:
This auction, 2015 Live Auction at T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, will be on tomorrow July 14, 2015, at 10:30am EST, and will feature a selection of noteworthy auction lots. The sale will feature more than 450 lots of rare baseball memorabilia, including a select grouping of items from the Johnny Bench Collection, which will headline the auction. Items being offered as part of the sale include:
Lot 286: Significant Roy Campanella 1953 National League Most Valuable Player award
Estimated Price: $175,000 – $200,000
Significant Roy Campanella 1953 National League Most Valuable Player award. A star player in both the Negro and Mexican Leagues, Campanella transitioned into the Brooklyn Dodgers Minor League system in 1946 and would ultimately join Jackie Robinson in the Major Leagues in 1948. A fixture in every All-Star Game played from 1949 to 1956, Campy was the National League’s Most Valuable Player (3) times in that same span of seasons. In 1953 he set then records for home runs (41) and RBIs by a catcher (142) hitting .312 in the Dodgers effort for a second consecutive National League Pennant. Important original award measuring 16″ across has octagonal Sterling Silver placard affixed at front. A gold colored bust of K.M. Landis sits below the second base position of a baseball diamond which also holds “Roy Campanella” engraved nameplate below “Most Valuable Player National League” titling, “Brooklyn Dodgers” team name, and a crossed bats/baseball applique which notes year, “1953.” Front is marked, “Sterling Dieges & Clust” and their tacked on metal tag remains on back below an eyelet for hanging. Very clean overall with a few minor scattered imperfections. One of the most high profile pieces of its’ type to have entered the marketplace. Includes letter of provenance from the Campanella Family: EX/MT
Lot 254: Important Ted Williams 1960 All-Star Game autographed professional model bat used for his final All-Star game appearance and base hit (Ted Williams Collection Provenance)
Estimated Price: $100,000 – $150,000
We were honored to conduct the Ted Williams Collection live auction event on behalf of the Williams family in 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston. Within that sale was included Ted’s other 1960 All-Star Game bat which also exhibited fine overall use indicative of regular season use after the All-Star Game similar to the offered specimen. The offered bat was only recently discovered within Ted Williams’s former personal residence in Florida along with an incredible handwritten note by William’s own hand. The note is written in pencil by Ted Williams on the back of a local safe company note paper and reads, “1960 Last Bat used single NY Kansas City”. Williams went 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance in the first 1960 All-Star Game played in Kansas City. In the second game played in New York, Ted collected a single in a pinch hit appearance which was also his final base hit in his All-Star Game career (14 total in his career).
Lot 253: 1953 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game professional model bat
Estimated Price: $75,000 – $100,000
1953 Mickey Mantle All-Star Game professional model bat (Direct Team Employee Provenance, PSA/DNA “GU 9”). Significant bat as issued to Mickey Mantle for use in his second All-Star Game appearance is one of the earliest dated examples, which can be definitively dated, to have surfaced. Louisville Slugger 125 model bat has Mantle facsimile signature burned into the barrel along with “All Star Game Cincinnati 1953” in block letter. Model “K55″ is factory stamped in the knob and the bat measures 35” long and weighs 33.2oz. An expected level of mild but well defined use is evident throughout with ball and stitch marks visible on the hitting surface along with some rack streaks. The offered bat was obtained directly from Mickey Mantle by the former equipment manager of the Washington Senators continuing with the Minnesota Twins. The young man had worked to earn Mantle’s trust by assisting the player while in town for visiting games. In return, the young man asked Mantle for his bat after he was done with it at the 1953 All-Star Game. Mantle obliged and the bat has remained in his personal collection until its current offering. Hitting for both average and power through all of his (18) seasons in baseball Mickey Mantle is firmly established as one of the games’ greatest sluggers. Named Most Valuable Player of the American League (3) times, he won the Triple Crown in 1956, and played on (7) Championship teams. In total Mantle enjoyed (20) All-Star Game appearances, a feat topped only by Aaron, Musial, and Mays. Statistics aside, there is a lore which surrounds his name that few others can conjure up. Mantle simply had intangibles, which cannot be charted in box scores or accounted for in comparison to the standard measure of pure athletic ability. Includes full LOA from PSA/DNA (graded “GU 9”),LOA from Hunt Auctions, and letter of provenance with related photo (see catalogue image) from the equipment manager: EX
Lot 156: Pete Rose “Babe Ruth Crown” for Outstanding Batting Achievement
Estimated Price: $50,000 – $75,000
Pete Rose “Babe Ruth Crown” for “Outstanding Batting Achievement.” Highly visual award piece done in the fashion of the “Sultan of Swat Award” which was an honor bestowed each year, starting in 1956, to the player with the highest slugging percentage. The roster of recipients read like a who’s who of great hitters to include Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, and even Joe DiMaggio whom was honored in 1956 for his 1939 season statistics. This later period piece, awarded by the same organization, offers similar display value with some subtle differences in text/design. Done in brass with affixed placard at front that reads, in both applied block letter and engraved text, “Babe Ruth Crown Presented to Pete Rose, For Outstanding Batting Achievement, Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association.” The (6) points are each done to resemble a baseball diamond with colored jewel fitted at center. Ringing the body are applied crossed bat/ball decor pieces alternating with engraved career related statistics/notations. In fine overall condition with hint of light tarnish/wear mentioned for accuracy. Includes signed letter of provenance from Pete Rose: EX/MT