Photo: Adam Hunger/ Landov | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
Last night Ichiro Suzuki reached the 4,000 hit plateau, a total only Ty Cobb and Pete Rose have achieved. Granted, the Yankees' right fielder picked up 1,278 of those hits while playing in Japan, but it's nonetheless a pretty impressive feat. Fittingly, number 4,000 came in a slapped single to right. With his 10 consecutive big league seasons hitting .300, making the All-Star team, and winning the Gold Glove, Ichiro was one of the best players in the first decade of the millennium. Coming to the majors as a 27-year-old in 2001, he promptly won the AL MVP award, as well as Rookie of the Year, as he led the Mariners to a record 116 wins. Three years later, he set the single season record for hits with 262. It's a pretty impressive resume, and one that all but guarantees his ticket to Cooperstown. But to be honest, what we love most about the guy is his status as a modern-day Yogi Berra. So in honor of his achievement, lets look back on his funniest, weirdest, and bizarrely wisest quotes.
“He said, 'Woof, woof, woof,' which meant, 'Stay, stay, stay,' Of course, I listened." – On his dog advising him not to leave the Mariners.
"To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying." – On travel.
"It's not surprising. At the same time, it's not that usual. It's somewhere between usual and surprising.” – On his performance.
"I'm told I either look bigger than I do on television or that I look smaller than I look on television. No one seems to think I look the same size." – On his stature.
"Tiger is a great golfer, but … when you say athlete, I think of Carl Lewis. When you talk about [golfers or race-car drivers], I don't want to see them run. It's the same if you were to meet a beautiful girl and go bowling. If she's an ugly bowler, you are going to be disappointed." - On fellow athletes.
"When I came here to play, I didn't know where I would be or where I wouldn't be." - On breaking George Sisler’s single season hit record.
"I hope he arouses the fire that's dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul. I plan to face him with the zeal of a challenger." – On facing Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.
"Chicks who dig home runs aren't the ones who appeal to me. I think there's sexiness in infield hits because they require technique. I'd rather impress the chicks with my technique than with my brute strength. Then, every now and then, just to show I can do that, too, I might flirt a little by hitting one out." – On sex appeal.
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