You may have heard. It was in all the papers. Ichiro notched the 3,000th hit of his major league career yesterday. I remember when Ichiro first came into the league, and his rookie cards were hot items. I remember thinking that people buying his cards were crazy. Sure, he was a great player. Sure he’d have some good years. But, he was 27 already. Not only is that old to start a career, but his game is based almost entirely on speed. If he lost a step or two, it would really show when he stopped beating out infield hits. His career was limited. He wouldn’t have enough time left to have a Hall of Fame type career. He may hit almost 300 hits a year for a while, but he doesn’t have the time left to reach a career milestone like 2,500 hits. Certainly not 3,000.
Yeah, I’m an idiot.
That was my first though upon hearing the news. My second? A question.
How many of those 3,000 hits did I see in person? I knew I had seen Ichiro play live. I must have seen a bunch of those hits. So, I grabbed the scorebooks again to find the answer:
Yup. Two. Ichiro had 2 hits with me in the stadium, and 2,998 without me. Apparently I’m not a lucky charm of any sort. In fact, of the three games I saw him play, he only got a hit in one of them.
The thing that I think is even more significant than the two hits, though, is the last entry. April 10 of 2007, Ichiro was 0-3 with three strikeouts. How often could that have happened in his career? Josh Beckett apparently knew something that other people did not. Or, Beckett was just THAT good in 2007.
Beyond that, the small sample size makes most of the other numbers meaningless. I don’t see Ichiro getting 189 walks in a season. Nor do I see him batting .286.
But, that doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that I got to see a great player do what he does best.
How did Ichiro perform when you were in the park?