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On the day Ichiro amassed a career total of 4,527 hits in top-flight pro baseball, Alex Rodriguez called his one-time teammate a legend and “as unique a player” as he’d ever been around.

Speaking in Denver, where the New York Yankees were preparing to play the Colorado Rockies, Rodriguez, the only active player with more hits in the big leagues than Ichiro, looked back on Ichiro’s impact. According to MLB.com, Rodriguez is 20th on the all-time list with 3,098 hits, while Ichiro is currently at 2,979 and ranked 31st.

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