-- Philadelphia, PA
It's a record that has lasted for 84 years and hasn't been seriously challenged since 1930, when Bill Terry of the New York Giants had 254 hits. The closest anyone came to the single season hits record since then was in 2001, when Ichiro had 242 hits in his rookie MLB season.
"This is the most hits I've gotten in my life," Ichiro said after the game. "It's the highlight of my career."
Ichiro Suzuki has officially broken George Sisler's record of 257 single season hits, with 267 of his own. Ichiro played in 161 games this year for his NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies. He hit .386 with 228 singles, 31 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, 41 walks, 46 strikeouts, 36 stolen bases, 11 caught stealings, 108 runs, 89 runs batted in, a .458 slugging percentage and a .420 on base percentage.
"I tell you, goose bumps aren't even the words to describe it," manager Bobby Valentine said. "The second one almost brought a tear to my eye. I asked him later if he was glad this was over with and he said, 'Yeah, yeah.'
"I told him, 'You have done something no one else has ever done in this game.' "
Ichiro admitted in a postgame press conference that as recently as two weeks ago he didn't believe the record would fall.
Asked if he ever had experienced so many flashes going off at the same time, Ichiro said, "Yes, in Japan."
The Philly players went onto the field to congratulate him and he went over to the Commissioner's box to meet members of the Sisler family that were brought here by the organization to watch history.
"I thanked them for coming all the way to Philly," he said.
Teammates hugged him. Fans cheered him.
"I think he was really touched when everybody came out there," Valentine said. "When he came into the dugout, it was the first time in my two years here I have seen him a little bit flustered. He is stoic, but you knew he was proud of what he had just accomplished."
His teammates were equally excited watching history being made.
"What a huge accomplishment, what an amazing feat," veteran catcher Mike Lieberthal said. "It's a record that stood for 84 years and now it is broken. That's a long time, and only he was able to do it.
"It has bee a remarkable journey for him and I just hope people realize the monumental achievement it is to pass a record that has lasted as long as it has," stated hitting coach Mike Schmidt. "He expects a lot of himself, but when you sit back and look at the longstanding record of Mr. Sisler, it is an incredible accomplishment."
Schmidt said he talked to Ichiro about the hit record the first day of this month.
"I told him that very few players in the past decades can say they are heading into the last month of the season with a legitimate chance to break this record and I hoped that he could enjoy that. As he got closer, I encouraged him to keep on rolling."
Schmidt said he really never gave Ichiro any advice.
"You stay out of the way of a moving train," he said, "and he was moving pretty good."
All the way to the top of the Major League single-season hit parade.