Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Ichiro discusses Beltre's march to history

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

ARLINGTON -- Ichiro Suzuki is all too familiar with the pursuit. Last August, the fanfare and large Japanese-media following swarmed the Marlins' outfielder in his quest to reach 3,000 hits.

Ichiro became the 30th player in MLB history to reach the milestone, achieving the feat with a triple on Aug. 7, 2016, at Colorado. For the next three days, the 43-year-old will observe the player destined to become the 31st on the exclusive list.

View Full Game Coverage

ARLINGTON -- Ichiro Suzuki is all too familiar with the pursuit. Last August, the fanfare and large Japanese-media following swarmed the Marlins' outfielder in his quest to reach 3,000 hits.

Ichiro became the 30th player in MLB history to reach the milestone, achieving the feat with a triple on Aug. 7, 2016, at Colorado. For the next three days, the 43-year-old will observe the player destined to become the 31st on the exclusive list.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: MIA@COL: Ichiro triples for his 3,000th hit

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre entered Monday 11 hits shy of the benchmark. The countdown sign located on the facing below the upper deck in left field is at 2,989.

"Obviously, he's getting close to this milestone, and people focus on his hitting," Ichiro said through his interpreter, Allen Turner. "But, I think he plays good defense. I think that's why he's been able to stick around as long as he has, because he does play good defense."

Video: TEX@TB: Beltre makes a diving stop to retire Smith

Ichiro and Beltre were actually once teammates in Seattle. The veteran outfielder recalls that occasionally, Beltre and Richie Sexson would take batting practice with metal bats, the ones used at the amateur level.

"What I do remember was he used to practice with a metal bat," Ichiro said. "That left an impression on me. At Safeco, he and Sexson would hit with metal bats. I've been around this game a long time, 26 years as a professional. I've never seen anybody hit with a metal bat in batting practice."

As for the pursuit of 3,000 hits, Ichiro notes his situation was slightly different than Beltre, because with the Marlins, he is the fourth outfielder.

"You can't really compare what he's going through with what I went through because he's, obviously, a starter," Ichiro said. "So he's in there every day. I wasn't. A lot of pinch-hits and coming-off-the-bench situations."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Texas Rangers, Adrian Beltre, Ichiro Suzuki