In Denver this afternoon, Ichiro Suzuki became the 30th player in MLB history to join the 3,000 hit club. With many other media outlets covering his accomplishments both before and after he came to the States, we at BoT will take a different approach.
Ichiro is the most complete baseball player of the 21st century.
10 consecutive gold gloves. 3,000+ hits. 10 all-star games. 507 stolen bases (36th all-time). And only one trip to the DL (an ulcer after representing Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic).
He has been consistent at the plate, in the field and on the base paths for nearly his entire career.
Sure, Miguel Cabrera is a better hitter. But he can hardly move.
Mike Trout? Too young.
Bryce Harper? Same story.
Bonds? Rodriguez? No juice boxes allowed, this is a beer and baseball site.
Ichiro has been the best player of the 21st century.
In 2000, Bobby Valentine, then the manager of the New York Mets, said that Ichiro was one of the best five players in the world. The mad-hatter was right. Ichiro has been a pleasure to watch over the last 16 seasons and there may not be another like him for a very long time.
Oh, and this…Terrance Long agrees with me.