At the start of this season, Ichiro Suzuki was 65 hits away from the immortal 3,000. With only 91 hits in 398 at-bats last year, it seemed unlikely Ichiro could reach the mark. He’s 10 away.
As it stands now, Ichiro is only the third player in baseball history to record 2990 hits, 500 stolen bases, and a career batting average of .310 or better. The other two, Eddie Collins and Ty Cobb, have been dead for 65 and 55 years, respectively. If his career ended today, Ichiro’s .335 batting average in his age-42 year would be the best for a player of that age (or older) with at least 50 ABs. But that’s not what’s notable here. Coming out of the ASB, Ichiro’s Marlins have four games against the Cardinals. Then, they come here for four. It’s possible that Ichiro could notch hit #3,000 in Philadelphia, but he wouldn’t be the first.
On June 9, 1914, Honus Wagner became the fourth member of the 3,000 hit club when he hit a double against the Phillies at the Baker Bowl. It’s the only 3,000th hit the city of Philadelphia has ever seen (either for a player or in the city). Other towns have been much more lucky.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis saw three such hits (Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken on the road, Dave Winfield at home). In all, 20 cities have bore witness to the feat, with Anaheim, Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, and New York catching it twice. Anaheim Stadium, New Yankee Stadium, and Detroit’s old Navin Field (Tiger Stadium) got two a piece. Of the 29 3000th hits, only 12 came on the road. Ichiro would make it 30 and 13.
If Ichiro isn’t able to get 10 hits in St. Louis, he’ll have next Monday through Thursday to try to finish the job here. In his small sample size at CBP, Ichiro is 16 for 45. You’ll probably want to be there.
[All numbers and data from Baseball Reference]