DENVER (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki tripled off the wall for his 3,000th career hit in the major leagues Sunday, becoming the 30th player to reach the milestone.
The 42-year-old Marlins outfielder did it in the seventh inning against Colorado at Coors Field. He joined Paul Molitor as the only players whose 3,000th hit was a triple.
Miami players came out of the dugout to congratulate Suzuki, and he waved his helmet to acknowledge the cheers.
Hitting coach Barry Bonds gave him a hug as the celebration at third base ended, and Suzuki got another round of applause when he scored on Jeff Mathis’ single, as well as a hug from manager Don Mattingly.
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Suzuki gave the crowd a wave as he went into the dugout. He batted again in the ninth and drew a walk.
Suzuki was hitless in his first three at-bats of the game before the big hit against Chris Rusin.
The Japanese star launched a long drive to right field that carried just beyond the reach of leaping Gerardo Parra. Suzuki breezed into third standing up.
Suzuki is in his 16th season in the majors. He got 1,278 hits while playing nine years in Japan before becoming the American League Rookie of the Year and MVP with Seattle in 2001.
Suzuki was greeted with cheers every time he came to bat. He struck out in the first inning, hit a comebacker in the third and grounded out to short in the fourth.
At 42 years, 290 days he is the second-oldest player by three days over Ricky Henderson to reach the milestone. Only Cap Anson, who was 45 when he got his 3,000th hit in 1897, was older.
“Congratulations to my friend and teammate Ichiro on joining the 3,000-hit club,” former Yankees star Derek Jeter said in a statement.
“I was fortunate to have both the pleasure of competing against him and the honor of playing alongside him. Baseball is more than a game to him, it is a craft, which he works at tirelessly with intense discipline.”
Suzuki got his 2,999th hit Saturday night as a pinch-hitter. He stayed in the game and grounded out in the ninth.
Suzuki played for Seattle until getting traded to the Yankees during the 2012 season.
“Prior to Ichiro’s first game for the Mariners in 2001, the late Pancho Ito, a Japanese baseball broadcaster and historian, said, ‘He is a genius with the bat.’ Mr. Ito was absolutely correct,” Mariners chairman Howard Lincoln said in a statement.
“A tip of the Mariners cap to Ichiro,” he said.