Ich-i-ro! Ich-i-ro!

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 21: Ichiro Suzuki #31 of the New York Yankees acknowledges fans after his 4,000th career hit on a single in the 1st inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on August 21, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

What can you say about 4,000 career hits?  As Ichiro has reached the 4K mark, he causes us not only to recognize him as the best hitter of his generation, but his place among the best hitters ever.  Aside from his career hit totals between Japan and the major leagues, acknowledging Ichiro’s ability is to list him as a great pure hitter.  He can be talked about along the lines of Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Ted Williams and so on.

Beyond technical greatness, Ichiro has the numbers to back it up.  Getting to 4,000 hits, he joins Pete Rose and Ty Cobb as the only other players to accomplish the milestone.  So now, where does he rank among the greats?  The Panel considers Ichiro’s place in history.