Ichiro sets record for most runs by Japanese player
Outfielder crosses home on Saturday for 1,968th tally between Japan, MLB
MIAMI -- In the eighth inning of a blowout game on Saturday, Ichiro Suzuki scored run No. 7 in the Marlins' 8-0 win over the Nationals at Marlins Park.
For Ichiro, it was more than just an add-on run. It was a tally that established a piece of history, because it was the 1,968th run of the 41-year-old's professional career, the most ever by a Japanese player.
The day after tying the mark, Ichiro on Saturday passed Sadaharu Oh for the milestone.
Ichiro has 1,310 runs in his MLB career, plus another 658 during his years playing in Japan.
The record was acknowledged on the stadium video scoreboard in the top of the ninth inning, and Ichiro received a nice ovation from the crowd as well as the players on the field. The veteran outfielder tipped his cap to the crowd and the other players.
"I think what I'm most happy about is you have teammates and fans that acknowledge it, and might even know more about me than I know about my own records," Ichiro said. "That's what makes some of the records special. In the past, maybe there wasn't as much celebration. To have my teammates know about it and also the fans to give me that ovation, that's what makes it [special]. It doesn't make it a happy situation if your teammates aren't happy for you. Obviously for my teammates to be happy and let me know, that means a lot to me."
Ichiro, who has seven runs on the season, is getting plenty of playing time with the Marlins, filling in left field for Christian Yelich, who is on the disabled list. He reached in the eighth inning on a single and scored on Adeiny Hechavarria's three-run homer.
"I don't think it's fair to compare the runs, because when [Oh] played ... it was 130 games [in a season]," Ichiro said. "And he actually had 868 of it by himself with homers. His record is much greater than mine."