Jeff Angus, proprietor of the Management by Baseball blog, sent an e-mail reminding me of Ichiro’s other quest. Here’s Jeff’s e-mail in full:
Don’t overlook the singles-in-a-season all-time best, a definite possibility. Suzuki as of close of biz yesterday had 191. Current leader is Willie Keeler from 1898 (152 games for most of any team that year) with 206. 20th century leader was Lloyd “Worst ever HoFer” Waner in 1927 with 198 (in 154 game season).
I think Suzuki can take Waner in 154, Keeler in 162, and MAYBE even Keeler in 154. Cruz and the Chisox held him hitless a few days ago by throwing a lot of high and tight pitches to back him out. One color man said he thought that was the optimum pitching approach, especially after he’s been hit in the head a few times.
OTOH, I saw him go yard on a pitcher this year, same at bat after getting a knock-down pitch.
I think the reason the singles “record” isn’t being tracked more closely is, on the one hand, us sabr types think it’s pretty feeble, and on the other hand, the traditionalists don’t know of it.