Ichiro Suzuki's ninth inning double against the Padres yesterday gave him 4,257 combined professional hits for his time in the Japanese and American pro leagues, one more than MLB hit king Pete Rose had in his career. Ichiro has 2,979 in his MLB career and 1,434 more from his 11 season with the Orix Buffaloes. It's quite an accomplishment, but it raises a contentious question: Has Ichiro dethroned Pete Rose?
For his part, Pete Rose says no, which has angered some fans. Defenders of Rose say his 427 minor league hits should be added to his total, since the American minors, like Japan's NPB, are professional leagues with weaker competition than MLB. Ichiro himself has been gracious, drawing a distinction between the two records. And the former Mariners star may have the last word when one day he's the only one of the two in the Hall of Fame.