words // Brennan Hiro Williams
Ichiro Suzuki recorded his 4000th career hit yesterday against the Blue Jays, bringing Yankee Stadium to its feet in celebration of the historic achievement. Though debated by some purists, Ichiro's combined 1278 hits in Japan's NPB and 2722 in the MLB puts him in elite company as one of only three players with 4000 hits at the professional level (the other two being Pete Rose and Ty Cobb). For the sake of argument (and perspective), only five players have 4000 hits combined in both the major and minor leagues.
Here at SC, we're celebrating Ichiro in our own way, flashing back to a mid-90s Mitsuya Cider soda ad featuring the then 22-year-old star wearing the Nike Air Max 95 (with denim shorts that only John Cena could love). During this magnificent era of Ichiro's long career, he became the first player in NPB history to record over 200 hits in a season (when the schedule was only 130 games), led the Orix Blue Wave to a Japan Series title and won three straight Pacific League MVP awards.
Now approaching his 40th birthday, Ichiro still makes the game look easy. We say "cheers" to one of the greatest to ever put on the uniform. Crack open a beer for your boy, or perhaps, a cool, refreshing Mitsuya Cider.
Take a closer look at Ichiro in the Air Max 95 below: