Derek Jeter Is Now All-Time Yankee Hit King With 2,722nd Hit

September 12, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

There was a baseball game played on Friday night. The Yankees lost it 10-4 to the Orioles. Truth be told, nobody cared.

Honestly, nobody is going to remember the result, not now nor down the road. Baseball fans are only going to remember that on Sept. 11, 2009, they saw baseball history.

It took 90 minutes to get Friday night’s game between the Yankees and Orioles going because of a rain delay, but the fans in the Bronx stuck around to witness a chance to see Derek Jeter surpass Lou Gehrig for the all-time Yankees hit record of 2,721.

Andy Pettitte breezed through the first inning and got through the Orioles hitters with no problem.

In the bottom of the first, Jeter came up for his first at-bat against rookie pitcher Chris Tillman. Tillman was able to make Jeter chase a breaking pitch and struck him out.

In the bottom of the third, Jeter again lead off the inning, only this time, he wasn’t getting fooled.

Jeter took a 2-0 offering from Tillman and hit the ball past first basemen Luke Scott into right field for his 2,722nd career hit, finally surpassing Gehrig for the all-time record.

Following the hit, Jeter tipped his cap to the Yankee fans, who were roaring with a standing ovation for at least five minutes. All of Jeter’s teammates then came out of the dugout and greeted him for a job well done.

Guys like Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Joe Girardi; longtime teammates of Jeter, were there to give him a big hug and were there to witness a milestone in Yankee history.

In typical Jeter fashion, he continued on from the record by getting another hit, an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning to move his total to 2,723 hits. Jeter ended the night going 2-for-4.

After tonight, Jeter’s hit total will not matter. Not for another 276 hits when he is at 2,999 hits and he is on the verge of going for 3,000.

The 3,000 hit total is something no Yankee has ever done and will be an even bigger accomplishment when Jeter hits that number.

3,000 hits is practically a ticket into Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame. So far, there are 27 members of the club and in order: Pete Rose (4,256), Ty Cobb (4,191), Hank Aaron (3,771), Stan Musial (3,630), Tris Speaker (3,514), Carl Yastrzemski (3,419), Cap Anson (3,418), Honus Wagner (3,415), Paul Molitor (3,319), Eddie Collins (3,315), Willie Mays (3,283), Eddie Murray (3,255), Nap Lajoie (3,242), Cal Rikpen, Jr. (3,184), George Brett (3,154), Paul Waner (3,152), Robin Yount (3,142), Tony Gwynn (3,141), Dave Winfield (3,110), Craig Biggio (3,060), Rickey Henderson (3,055), Rod Carew (3,053), Lou Brock (3,023), Rafael Palmeiro (3,020), Wade Boggs (3,010), Al Kaline (3,007) and Roberto Clemente (3,000).

Of the 27, Rose, Biggio and Palmeiro are not in the Hall of Fame, but when Biggio’s turn comes, he should be a first-ballot inductee.

At 35, and now at 2,723 hits, as long as Jeter stays healthy, there should be no reason why he can’t get to 3,000 hits by the 2011 season. Jeter averages around the 200-215 hit mark per season and might not hit the mark in 2010.

According to Michael Kay on YES, he discussed a conversation two years ago with former Yankees General Manager Gene Michael where Jeter asked Michael if he thought Jeter could play another 10 years. If Jeter continued on his normal pace for another eight seasons with 200 hits, that’s another 1,600 hits, which would put him around 4,323 to surpass Rose.

Even if Jeter averages 180 hits for the next eight years, that’s 1,440 hits, which would put him around 4,161, which would be third all-time behind Rose and Cobb.

Jeter’s pace depends on how healthy he stays over the course of the rest of his career, but Jeter has always stayed in top physical shape and even dedicated himself in the winter to getting in better shape to play defense, so there should be no reason why Jeter can’t stick around to attempt 4,000-plus hits.

Now that the hit record is out of the way, Jeter can re-shift his attentions back on the American League pennant race, because it’s not over yet with 20 games to go and the Red Sox 8 1/2 behind.

Jeter has always played better focusing more on team-first records more than personal stats and goals, so with a clear mind, Jeter should be back to playing the great baseball he has been all year in 2009.

As a proud Yankee fan who witnessed Jeter’s rookie season and has grown up watching Jeter’s career unfold, I can not be more happier he accomplished the record, but Jeter is far from being done. Jeter has many more milestones to go on his path to Cooperstown.

Friday night was Jeter’s night. Up until 8:30 p.m., Sept. 11 was a night of remembrance of the attacks eight years ago. But when the game started, the only thing that mattered was Jeter, and he came through for all the fans who have been supporting him since 1996.

Many congratulations go out to Jeter for a job well done, and Yankee fans like myself look forward to more praise about future Jeter accomplishments.

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