When Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki legged out an infield single in the bottom of the eighth inning during Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the hit represented his third of the day and 2,994th of his MLB career, per MLB.com.

There aren’t many players in baseball that can be described by simply using their first name, but Ichiro certainly fits that mold both in uniqueness of name and level of play deserving of the honor.

Unanimously regarded as the greatest MLB player to ever come from Japan, the 42-year-old outfielder started a phenomenon following his migration to the United States in 2001 and instantaneous success at the major-league level.

When discussing his MLB hitting numbers, it’s certainly worth noting that he spent nine years playing in Japan prior to leaving his home country. When adding those totals to his 2,994 in the MLB, his total skyrockets to an astounding 4,272 career professional hits.

The tally would make him the all-time hits leader, but many, including MLB hit leader Pete Rose, believe the numbers from Japan shouldn’t count toward Ichiro’s total. Even with the Japanese numbers not taken into account, Ichiro has a real shot at cracking the all-time top 25, needing just 29 more hits to match Lou Brock (3,023) in 25th place.

He figures to be a lock for the Hall of Fame and deservedly so. Among his accomplishments are a Rookie of the Year Award, an MVP, a Golden Glove and a Silver Slugger…and that’s just from his 2001 rookie season. He’s since added nine more Gold Gloves and three more Silver Slugger trophies, not to mention qualifying for 10 straight All-Star Games.

Unlike many of today’s stars who make their names racking up home runs, Ichiro has broken double digits just three times in his MLB career, relying primarily on making contact (.314 career average) and wreaking havoc on the basepaths (more than 30 stolen bases in 10 of his first 11 major league seasons), in addition to his well-known prowess as an outfielder.

While many of the commonly named best hitters in the history of baseball are known for power, when Ichiro’s career gets looked back on, an argument could be made for him being near the top.

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