Praise from Abe, Oh
TOKYO (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki’s latest milestone has been a really big hit in Japan.
Newspapers published special editions for the morning rush hour, the national broadcaster led with the news, and fans and dignitaries paid tribute Thursday after Suzuki raised his career hits total in the Japanese and North American major leagues to 4,257, passing Pete Rose’s record Major League Baseball total.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised Suzuki’s mark as “an amazing record.”
“A Japanese athlete has once again made a monumental contribution,” Abe said, “and I feel tremendous pride.”
In his 16th season in Major League Baseball, Suzuki has 2,979 hits in the majors and is rapidly approaching the 3,000-hit club.
“He is like a national treasure,” office worker Tadahito Inaga said. “It will be fun to watch him go for 3,000.”
Japan’s national broadcaster NHK reported that Suzuki “broke the record for most hits ever by a Major League ballplayer” while acknowledging the record is unofficial because it spans two professional leagues.
Rose has previously played down the comparisons.
The debate over Suzuki’s mark is reminiscent of when Japanese slugger Sadaharu Oh passed in 1977 Hank Aaron’s record of 755 home runs.
Japanese fans regarded it as a world record, but many in the U.S. said the records were not equivalent, as Japanese ballparks tended to be smaller.
Oh, who would finish his career in Nippon Professional Baseball with 868 home runs, also had high praise for Suzuki.
“To do this at 42, he is an inspiration to baseball fans around the world,” Oh said. “I look forward to following him as he continues to get more hits.”
LDOCEでは、“to try to make something seem less important or less likely than it really is”と定義されていました。今回の記事では記録の競争を過小評価するというものでしたが、可能性や問題などを軽視するという意味でも用いられます。