Absence of power hurts legacy

Ichiro Suzuki is a terrific hitter, but his lack of power prevents him from being regarded as an all-time great.

Originally Published: April 22, 2005
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
But will you still love a man out of time?
    – Elvis Costello

When I sat down to write about Ichiro Suzuki, I thought of him as a player who's stuck in the wrong time. As a player who, if he'd been born a century earlier, might have ranked as not only a great player, but as one of the greatest players. After all, Ichiro hits safely at a tremendous clip, he terrorizes opposing batteries with his speed, and he plays wonderfully in the outfield. Those qualities are reminiscent of – dare I say it? – the heretofore incomparable Ty Cobb.

Here's what Cobb said – or rather, what his ghost writer wrote – about hitting:

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