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5-year Marliniversary: Ichiro passes Pete Rose

Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Most recognize Pete Rose as baseball’s all-time hits king, but when it comes to the most hits at the highest levels of professional baseball, that distinction belongs to Ichiro Suzuki.

On this day five years, Ichiro surpassed Rose for the most hits at the baseball’s highest levels. As a member of the Miami Marlins on this day five years, Ichiro recorded two hits to move Rose to No. 2 in the record books.

Rose’s 4,256 hits is still a record in Major League Baseball, but Ichiro had nearly 1,300 hits in Japan’s Pacific Coast League before joining the Seattle Mariners in 2001. In a 6-3 loss to the San Diego Padres on June 15, 2016, Ichiro ran his career total to 4,257.

Ichiro had been red hot as he led off for Miami at Petco Park. Starting in right field, Ichiro had been 11-for-22 in his previous eight games. He wasted little time picking up where he left off.

Just two pitches into the contest and Rose no longer stood alone. On the second pitch from San Diego starter Luis Perdomo, Ichiro hit a dribbler that he was able to leg out for an infield single. Ichiro would later come around to score on a Christian Yelich single to give the Marlins the early 1-0 lead.

Melvin Upton Jr. homered to tie the game for San Diego in the second. Ichiro grounded out in the third and struck out in the fifth, but Miami was able to grab the lead.

The Marlins scored two runs in the third on an RBI single from catcher J.T. Realmuto and a sacrifice fly by Miguel Rojas. The Padres drew to within one in the fourth before taking the lead in the fifth on a two-run single from Derek Norris and an RBI single from Upton. Wil Myers’ RBI double in the sixth gave the Padres a 6-3 lead and capped the scoring.

After grounding out in the seventh, Ichiro needed at least one teammate to get on base in the ninth to have a shot to break the record. Against Padres’ closer Fernando Rodney, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria singled to start the inning.

Cole Gillespie flied out for Miami before Giancarlo Stanton hit into a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Ichiro came to the plate for the fifth time to face Rodney. Ichiro worked himself ahead in the count before ripping a double down the right-field line for his 4,257th hit at baseball’s highest levels.

The hit also brought the tying run to the plate, but Martin Prado flied out to end the contest.

Still, when it came to major league hits, Ichiro was atop the all-time list. In his combined stints in the United States and Japan, Ichiro finished with 4,367 career hits. The record-breaker came on this day five years ago.