Tadahito Iguchi joined Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Kazuo Matsui, and Norihiro Nakamura as the only Japanese players to record 2,000 NPB+MLB hits.
Iguchi's 2,000th hit was a home run off ace Masahiro Tanaka to lead off the 6th inning of tonight's game against the Rakuten Eagles.
Japanese Players with 2,000 NPB+MLB Hits
UPDATE 7/27 @ 3:35am -
The Marines have released some merchandise commemorating Iguchi's 2,000th NPB+MLB hit.
Source: official announcement
Lotterias in Chiba will celebrate the milestone by selling shakes for sixty yen, beginning on the 27th. The two Lotterias near QVC Marine will sell shakes for six yen. There is some fine print: the deal is good for the first 2,000 customers (per store), it must be combined with either a burger or a burger set, and the offer is not valid at the Lotteria inside QVC Marine.
Source: Nikkan Sports 7/27/2013
UPDATE 7/27 @ 5:40pm -
A few more notes about Iguchi's 2,000 NPB+MLB hits:
- Nakamura and Iguchi are the only two players in NPB history to record 2,000 NPB+MLB hits after returning to the NPB. The other three players reached the 2,000-hit milestone while playing in the Majors.
- At thirty-eight years and sevens months, Iguchi is the second oldest player, behind Nakamura (thirty-nine years and nine months), to record 2,000 NPB+MLB hits.
- Iguchi and Nakamura are the only two players to hit home runs for their 2,000th NPB+MLB hit. Makoto Matsubara, Hideji Kato, Hiromitsu Ochiai, and Alex Ramirez are the only players to hit home runs for their 2,000th NPB hits.
Source: Sanspo 7/27/2013
UPDATE 7/30 @ 6:29am -
Daily Sports posted a portion of Iguchi's post-game interview with the media:
What are you feeling now that you have reached the milestone?
I am happy about getting the hit, but right now I feel disappointed about losing the game.
What are your thoughts about reaching the milestone on a home run?
People around me are saying that I went for it, but I was not really thinking that at all. I just swung the bat where I saw the pitch and it ended up a home run. I myself am surprised.
You recorded the hit off the undefeated Rakuten pitcher [Masahiro] Tanaka.
I thought I would not be able to reach the milestone today [because of who was on the mound]. When I stepped into the batter's box, I thought I might have a chance since I got a hit my my second trip to the plate. The pitch I hit [during my third trip] was a fat pitch I timed perfectly. It would have been better if it helped the team win.
Of the 2,000 NPB+MLB hits you recorded, are there any that your remember clearly?
All of them are firmly embedded in my head, but I think my strongest memories are my very first trip to the plate and today's 2,000th hit.
Your thoughts on reaching 2,000 NPB+MLB hits.
I got to 2,000 hits by playing a long career and accumulating numbers of that time. For the remaining games, I will do my best to help the team win.
Is there anything you want to say to the people out there?
The coaches that helped me develop when I was little, the fans, and my family. I am grateful [to you all].
You can still go for 2,000 NPB hits.
That is still far down the road. My goal this year is to help the team win a pennant. I will continue to do my best tomorrow.
Source: Daily Sports 7/26/2013