Pete Rose, he of an all-time best 4,256 major league hits, said Suzuki’s 4,000th hit as a professional -- accomplished Wednesday after singling off Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey -- is nothing to write home about once you comb through the numbers.
“Hey, if we’re counting professional hits then add on my 427 career hits in the minors,” Rose told USA Today. “I was professional then, too.”
Suzuki, 39, has 2,722 hits to his name during his 13-year MLB career. The other 1,278 came beforehand, when he starred in Japan's professional baseball circuit.
“I don't want to take anything away from (Suzuki)," Rose added, “but does anybody remember making a big deal when Henry Aaron had 755 homers and (Japanese slugger) Sadaharu Oh passed him?”
Although Rose tried to discredit Suzuki's feat, he also patted him on the back for an overall job well done.
“Listen, if I'm voting today for the Hall of Fame, Ichiro has got my vote," he said. "He's got the (10) Gold Gloves. The golden arm. A lot of hits. There's really nothing wrong with his game.”