An article in today’s New York Times article puts things in perspective…
To include Suzuki’s hits in Japan, on the argument that they came as part of his professional career, opens a can of worms. The same logic could be extended to the minor leagues in the United States and would open the 4,000-hit club to Hank Aaron (3771 + 324 = 4,095) and Stan Musial (3,630 + 371 = 4,001). And that does not account for the partial season Aaron spent in the Negro leagues.
And what about postseason hits? Or spring training hits??
The article also touches on the dark side of the 4,000 hit club — Rose’s gambling, Cobb’s hateful disposition, and Ichiro’s alleged selfishness and aloof nature — and says that Ichiro means “most cheerful boy,” though elsewhere I read it meant “first son.”
If my math is right, he’s on pace to hit number 4,000 on the 18th in Boston or on the 20th at home… I keep wavering on whether he’ll pass Rose’s 4,256 career hits. Whenever I suspect his career is done for, he’ll redeem himself with a hot streak… In any case, at this point he’s a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame — I’ve already decided to visit Cooperstown for his induction.