Quite a Hall: Ichiro donates 3K-hit items

Fans give veteran standing ovation in pinch-hit appearance

Quite a Hall: Ichiro donates 3K-hit items

MIAMI -- One day after becoming the 30th Major League player to record 3,000 career hits, Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki reflected on the accomplishment Monday at Marlins Park.

"Obviously, for me [it's not about] being happy or not, but to see all my teammates and the fans, just all those people who were happy for me. That's something I'll never forget," Ichiro said.

Marlins club president David Samson announced that the achievement would be officially commemorated with a pregame celebration prior to the Sunday, Sept. 25, afternoon game at Marlins Park.

Ichiro was not in Monday's starting lineup against the Giants, but he received a standing ovation from the fans at Marlins Park when he entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning.

"There's obviously going to be an ovation here and we'll stop the game for some seconds and show a video of the hit and then go on with the game," said Samson before Monday's game. He also reflected on Ichiro's achievement.

"We worked very closely with Ichiro, because he wanted it done a certain way and that was by keeping the team in mind always; keeping in mind respect for the game, respect for the history, and respect for what we're trying to accomplish as the Marlins in 2016 with an overarching understanding of what it means to be part of history."

On Monday, Ichiro donated several items he was wearing when he legged out his triple on Sunday to the Hall of Fame. Among them were his jersey, cleats, batting gloves, wrist bands and protective arm sleeve.

According to Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson, Ichiro has donated more than 25 items to the museum. The two also said Ichiro previously agreed to donate all his memorabilia after he dies.

"There's no greater player I've ever encountered that has as deep an appreciation for the game as Ichiro does," Idelson said. "This is a guy who understands his place in history, and because of that, as a sport, as a country, we're all the more richer."

Ichiro takes place in history

Idelson also made the announcement that anyone with a 2016 Marlins game ticket could enter the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., free of charge.

As Ichiro neared the milestone, a large contingent of Japanese media members -- sometimes as many as 50-60 -- attended each game, compared to the six to eight who regularly follow the club.

"I'm happy they can go back to their homes," Ichiro said. "I'm more relieved about that."

Ichiro honored to hit No. 3,000

In his professional career, Ichiro has 4,278 hits -- 1,278 in Japan and 3,000 in Major League Baseball. Pete Rose, MLB's Hit King, finished his 24-year career with 4,256 hits in the big leagues.

Ichiro's hit tied him with Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente for 29th all time and made him just the second player to collect 3,000 hits after turning 27. Rose recorded 3,353 of his hits after turning 27. Ichiro, 42, joins Hall of Famers Cap Anson (45) and Rickey Henderson (42) as the only players who were 42 or older when they recorded career hit No. 3,000.

With 3,000 now in the rearview mirror, Suzuki said he doesn't have a numerical goal in mind, but rather a simple wish going forward.

"Right now, there's nothing in the future, no number I'm looking at," Ichiro said. "What I'm looking at is playing baseball every day, getting each at-bat and enjoying each game."

Ichiro is known by his teammates to be quite the character. When asked who the most famous person he received congratulations from, his immediate, straight-faced answer was, "[teammate] Justin Bour."

When he later heard about the reference, Bour laughed.

"He continues to roast me right now," Bour said. "I think he's just trying to make me feel better after he blasted me, for being fat, yesterday."

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.