Reggie Jackson by 116.
Jimmie Foxx by 54.
And Ted Williams by 46.
But last night Ichiro went 1 for 4 to help the Yankees beat the Rangers, and did something that those men never managed to do: he picked up his 2,700th MLB hit. And he did it in much the way we saw him get hits for a dozen years - with an infield single. 2,700 is kind of the red-headed stepchild of milestones. 2,500 and it's, "man, he's been doing it for a long time." 2,000. Christ, Dave was still around for 2,000. But 2,700, and all the morning news cycle is about is Braun and ARod.
That's not the association I want, or the one the man deserves. It's not that there's ever been much doubt on this site that Ichiro will be in the Hall, or that he deserves it, or that he was one fine, fine ballplayer for our side. One of our finest. But things have changed now. Some tall, blond kid is playing right-field in Safeco. The Ms are making encouraging strides, and without Ichiro. He's off in the hinterlands going about his business. And no matter what he means or meant to us, his hit last night deserves note here on this site. As of today he's 300 hits short of doing the thing that I had hope he'd accomplish as an M, but likely won't. As an M, anyway.
So forget the drug users and their inflated, useless, profane numbers, and think about 2,700 just for a minute. And, if you have any less than warm associations for Morgan or Williams or Jackson and Fox, well, forget those too. Ichiro belongs in that group and not the other. That's some pretty rare air he's breathing. And we watched him play.
Congratulations, Ichiro, on 2,700. Counting down.