Suzuki becomes first player of Asian descent to join MLB’s 3000-hit club

Ichiro Suzuki, No. 51 of the Miami Marlins, recorded his 3000th hit during Sunday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, joining 29 other players in the distinction and becoming the first player of Asian descent to do so.

He hit his 2998th July 8, but went seven games straight without one until he hit his 2999th on Saturday. Sunday, he became only the second person to record his 3000th hit with a triple.

“When I first got my hit as a big leaguer, I was happy for myself,” said Suzuki during a press conference after the game. “But today when I got my 3000th hit I was happy, but also I was more happy for the people around me, for the people that supported me.”

Suzuki actually has 4,278 professional hits in his career, but 1,278 of them were during his career in Japan, which spanned over nine years. He debuted in America back in 2001 when he signed with the Seattle Mariners. He stayed with the Mariners for about a year before he was traded to the New York Yankees, with whom he played for two years. He has played for the Miami Marlins ever since.

Suzuki, who is 42, joked about playing the game past 50. He said “players should be able to play past their prime with all the technology we have available today.” Moving forward, his goals are simple.

“Right now there’s nothing in the future, no number I’m looking at,” Suzuki said during a press conference on Monday. “What I’m looking at is playing baseball every day, getting each at-bat and enjoying each game.”

Correction: We made a terminology error in stating Suzuki “made” hits – they are compiled, not made, in baseball.