MIAMI (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki crossed the plate at a home-run trot Saturday to break a Japanese record for runs set by Sadaharu Oh.
Suzuki didn’t hit the homer, however. And because he’s not a slugger, he’s disinclined to rank himself ahead of Oh.
“I don’t think it’s fair to compare,” Suzuki said through a translator. “Mr. Oh had 868 runs by himself with homers, so his record is much greater than mine.”
In addition, Suzuki said, Oh played entirely in Japan, where his seasons were shorter than in the majors.
Suzuki scored on Adeiny Hechavarria’s home run to help the Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 8-0. The run gave Suzuki 1,968 in the major leagues (1,310) and Japan (658), surpassing Oh’s record for a Japanese player.
“When it’s Mr. Oh’s record, it’s very special,” Suzuki said.
Suzuki received a big ovation from the crowd and a jubilant greeting from his teammates when he scored the record-breaking run.
“What I’m happiest about is you have fans and teammates who acknowledge it, and might even know more than I know about my own records,” Suzuki said.
The 41-year-old outfielder and 10-time All-Star outfielder had two hits to hike his average to .286. He has played in every game this year.
“This guy has been fun to have around,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “He’s special. He has been around a long time and accomplished so much. He’s going to be a big part of our team, and you’ve seen that already.”
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