Monday September 14, 2009
One of the most amazing baseball feats was accomplished on Sunday.
Was it the lead story or even a major story on the national sports media? Nope. It was mentioned just as if it was an everyday event.
Jeter passing Lou Gehrig to take over the lead in hits for the Yankees was frontline story on ESPN and Fox Sports and the MLB Channel, but this story wasn't even mentioned until more than 10 minutes into Baseball Tonight. On Sportscenter it came after they talked about Donovan McNabb's injury about midway through the program. An afterthought almost. It seems that all the national sports outlets are interested is how big is the media market the record was broken in, not the magnitude of the record broken.
Its a shame, because the MLB record broken has stood for more than 100 years. It was one of those "unbreakable" records because no one had even come close since.
What record am I speaking of?
Wee Willie Keeler's record of 8 straight seasons with 200 plus hits.
How tough was it to break? Think of it in these terms, Tony Gwynn had five 200 hit seasons in his career, Albert Pujols has had one, in 15 seasons Derek Jeter has had six, Ty Cobb only had eight in his career and hits record holder Pete Rose had only nine in his 24 year career. Wade Boggs, a human hitting machine, was the only player to even come remotely close to breaking it with a seven season run with 200 hits. He never had another season with 200.
So who broke it? Ichiro. Possibly the greatest pure hitter the major leagues has seen since Ted Williams. The only other players that really come close are Albert Pujols and Tony Gwynn.
Earlier this week Ichiro passed 2000 hits for his incredible 9 season career in MLB after 1,278 in Japan. He already holds the MLB record for most hits in a season with 262 hits.
Considering Ichiro is still only 35 years old, he has a pretty good shot at getting 3000 hits in MLB to add to the 1278 he had in Japan. (Remember, through 2000 they only played 130-135 games a season.)
The major media should be praising him loudly and at the front of every broadcast, but instead their silence is deafening. Hopefully they are not so quiet when it comes time to vote him into the Hall of Fame.