Blog Entry

Murton is the reverse Ichiro

Posted on: September 24, 2010 2:04 am
Edited on: September 24, 2010 2:05 am
Matt Murton
You might have heard that Ichiro Suzuki on Thursday notched his 10th consecutive 200-hit season. Less publicized was that Matt Murton did the opposite.

OK, it might not technically be the opposite. But Ichiro, a former Japanese player, got his 200th hit on the same day Murton, a former U.S. major-league player, got his 200th hit for the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League.

The 200-hit mark is a bigger deal in Japan, where the season is shorter (it varies between 130 and 140 games), and Murton is just the fourth player in Nippon Professional Baseball history to reach the mark. The last? Ichiro, while playing for Orix in 1994. Another American veteran, Alex Ramirez, had 200 hits in 2007.

Murton, according to the Japan Times, notched his 200th hit with a homer against Chunichi in Hanshin's 131st game (Ichiro's hit Thursday came in the Mariners' 152nd game).

Murton, 28, batted .286 in five U.S. major-league seasons with the Cubs, Athletics and Rockies, who sold his contract to Hanshin last December. The fact that he and Ramirez (a part-time U.S. player in three seasons) have put up two of the landmark offensive seasons in Japanese history tells you something about the difference in the level of play (people who have watched both say NPB is roughly equivalent to Triple-A ball) and makes what Ichiro has done here all the more impressive.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: September 24, 2010 3:02 pm

Murton is the reverse Ichiro

Tre, I was thinking the exact same thing. I am gonna go with B-Rad answer that Ichiro was first. Since there is only 4 players to accomplish that, I don't see why they couldn't name the 4th player as well.
Thats really kinda cool, that on the same day, in 2 different parts of the world, 2 players accomplish the same feat. And to top that, the players are from the opposite country. I see a Sports trivia question in the makings. 

Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: September 24, 2010 2:49 pm

Murton is the reverse Ichiro

Murton always was a decent hitter.  Some ML team will probably give him another crack soon, hopefully.    A few Major Leaguers strike out more often than Murton has hits this year.

Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: September 24, 2010 2:28 pm

Murton is the reverse Ichiro

Andriesen may be right here about the quality of play in each league, but I don't think it's safe to say that just because two of the four players to reach the milestone in Japan were American, that baseball here is better. Maybe Matt Murton is like Jose Bautista or other players who are irrelevant for most of their careers but then put up historic numbers for one season. Obviously Ichiro's accomplishment is more impressive but you can't compare two different leagues because of the performance of a handful of guys.

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: September 24, 2010 2:15 pm

Murton is the reverse Ichiro

this guy should get another shot in the big here. with as many dreadful sub .200 hitters in mlb he could do no worse. btw, how do you bat .169 and have a job? it's like stealing money.

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: September 24, 2010 2:06 pm

Murton is the reverse Ichiro

i think they meant ichiro was the first, but didnt proof read...

Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posted on: September 24, 2010 12:57 pm

Murton is the reverse Ichiro

Im confused.. Ichiro was the last to get 200 hits in 1994. But Alex Ramirex did it in 2007. How is Ichiro the last do accomplish this?

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