Sam Rice (2,987 hits, 31st all-time): Yea, Sam Rice was able to fill that box on the Brad Beane checklist alright. The man hit over .300 thirteen times. He made a postseason catch that was debated and discussed for over half a century, and was eccentric enough to let that mystery percolate until confirming he caught it in a letter he wrote the year he died. Not a stat, but it is a rare instance where we can make a quirkiness comparison with Ichiro. He even became a chicken farmer after leaving the league; in case you hadn’t guessed by this point, he’s not exactly a modern era player.
While he was no Sam Crawford, he did rack up double-digit triples in ten straight seasons. And in terms of on base percentage and career average, he has Ichiro beat on both counts. No All-Star or Gold Glove comparisons can be made, but that’s entirely on account of his last season being 1934. Crawford has six seasons of 200 or more hits under his belt, which is short of Ichiro’s streak of ten, but he also only ever had to play a 154 game schedule; there were an additional four years where had 185 hits or more, as well a year he played in only 141 games but led the entire league in games played with that total.
Basically, Crawford was Ichiro before Ichiro, and as such, we’re going to call this one a tie.
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