Monday, September 14, 2009

Ichiro!

9 seasons! First player in MLB history to have over 200 hits in 9 consecutive seasons. I would have to say this is pretty amazing. Since we don't have the playoffs to look forward to as Mariner fans, it is nice to see records held by local players.

So, what is in store for next year? If Ichiro is able to do this 10 years in a row, he will tie Pete Rose' s mark of 200 hit seasons (he only had 3 in a row). Due to Ichiro's age, we will not see him accomplish 3,000 hits, but he is still creating a nice niche in baseball history. (I could be wrong, but we will see).

He also was able to break over 2,000 career hits, becoming the second fastest in history to accomplish this feat.

Ichiro will never be know as a hitter that was feared. He is a successful small ball player. He does not have that ability to win a lot of games with the single swing of his bat. Rather, he puts himself into position (hits and stolen bases), so those more powerful can end games with one swing. A lot of people think home runs make or break the best hitters in the game. I understand this, but do not agree with it. Ichiro, most likely, will never play for a World Series team. This will make some people shy away from giving him the credit he deserves.

Think of the records he is breaking to give him proper credit. "Georgous" George Sisler had 257 hits in 1920. Willie Keeler's record of 8 consecutive 200 hit season was established in 1901. Now, a lot has changed since 1901, including the 162 game schedule. But keep in mind, the 162 game schedule has been around since 1961, when it was upped from 154, nearly 50 years ago. Even some of the great hitters from my early years in MLB (Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Robin Yount, George Brett, Paul Molitor, and Don Mattingly just to name a few) did not accomplish such feats. Gwynn had 5 seasons with 200 or more hits, Yount 1, Brett 2, Molitor 4, Mattingly 3 times...in a row, Boggs 7 times...in a row! None of those guys were able to beat Sisler's mark. (Boggs came the closest with 240 in 1985).

Powerful hitters strike fear in pitchers, Ichiro strikes fear in the left hand side of the infield.

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