Earlier this week, Ichiro Suzuki officially retired from Major League Baseball at the age of 45. Ichiro spent time during his eighteen year MLB career with the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Miami Marlins. Ichiro is a no doubt lock to be an inductee in Cooperstown in the near future. Not only is Ichiro a Hall of Famer but he should be considered to be the greatest hitter in the history of baseball.His MLB career 311 batting average ranks 13th highest among the 32 players in the 3,000-hit club.

Ichiro's 3,089 career MLB hits along with his 1,278 hits in Japan give him more career hits than the current MLB hits leader Pete Rose. By the way, his 3,000 hits came when Ichiro entered the league at 28 years old. Ichiro also holds the MLB records for

  • Most hits, season 262
  • Most consecutive seasons leading the league in hits: 5 (2006–2010)
  • Most games with one or more hits, season: 135 (2001)
  • Most consecutive seasons with 200 or more hits: 10 (2001–2010)
  • Most hits, two consecutive seasons: 474

Plus this stat from MLB.com compares Ichiro's success in the lead-off spot compared to Rickey Henderson and Pete Rose.

Ichiro was arguably the greatest leadoff hitter of his era, collecting 2,529 of his hits from the top spot, which ranked behind only Rickey Henderson (3,020) and Rose (2,924). However, compared to those two, Ichiro compiled a much higher batting average from the No. 1 hole, with a .323 clip, compared to Rose's .308 and Henderson's .280

Do you believe Ichiro Suzuki is the greatest hitter of all time in baseball history? Let us know below.

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