He Woulda Been The Hit King
Ichiro got his 4000th hit yesterday and we’re all left wondering what his hit total would be had he played his entire career in MLB. He has 2,722 hits here, 1,278 hits *there*. I’ve heard the rabble about his hits from Japan *not counting* but that’s short sighted and misses the point of “what if?”
Not only do I think Ichiro would have gotten 4,000 but I think he would have become The Hit King with more than a few hits to spare. True, he hit .353 in Japan and *only* .320 in his mlb career. But remember, in his Japanese career, he would only play in 135 games a year (at most) vs 162 in MLB (I think they have increased their season to 144 since he left). He routinely shorted himself 130 or so at bats a year playing in Japan. But some fans say, “well, you don’t know what he would have done had he played here all those years. Uh, ya kinda do. This isn’t like trying to translate Sadahara Oh’s 868 bombs into mlb bombs. He never played MLB we have no idea what he would have done here.
But Ichiro has played here 12 full seasons (this is his 13th). Going into this season he had 2,606 hits in his major league career. That’s an AVERAGE of 217 hits in a season. Anyone think Will Clark was a decent hitter? Maybe better than decent? Maybe one of the best you’ve ever seen in a Giants uniform? Ok, that last one is a little subjective but he is to me.
200 hit seasons that Will Clark had in his brilliant 15 year career: 0
If Ichiro averaged 217 hits a season (heading into 2013) I think we have a pretty solid idea of what he would have done over the course of a 21 year career.
And I love how people are throwing Ty Cobb in with Rose. Please, just stop. Ty Cobb banged out 4,189 hits? Before African American or Latino players were allowed to play? Excuse me, but where is that asterisk?
I salute the Great Ichiro with one of the highest honors the Flap can bestow upon another person: 2 flaps up. While we can unfortunately not count his hits from Japan to get him into The 4,000 Hit Club it’s easy to see that he likely would have easily gotten to 4,000 hits had he played in the States his entire career, and would have very probably passed Cobb and Rose. With the greatest of ease, he is a first ballot hall of famer…….