It's awfully hard to dislike The Captain, because he's made it that way. There was a time early in his career he was #3 amongst fan favorite shortstops, himself, former Mariner turned eventual Yankee Alex Rodriguez, and the retired Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. Now, Jeter is second to no one. A staple of the New York Yankees since 1995, Jeter has been part of five World Series Championship teams, and most recently a member of the 3,000 hit club, so it's time he gets our due at LynchyRightNow.
Let's take a look at where Jeter lands on the all-time hits list by the time he hangs it up. On August 1st, he'll most likely already have passed the likes of Wade Boggs (3,010 hits).
Sidenote: Anytime Boggs' name is brought up one thing comes to mind. Was Boggs downing 64 beers on a cross-country flight more impressive than any of his baseball accomplishments? Hall of Famer ladies and gentlemen.
By summers end, the 37-year old shortstop will have passed Lou Brock (3,023) and will be fast approaching Rickey Henderson (3,055). Two of the games greatest hitters and the top two stolen base leaders in the history of Major League Baseball. Impressed yet?!?!
After signing an off-season deal with the Yankees that would keep him in New York through the next three seasons, including this current one in 2011, where will Jeter land amongst the greatest? Move over Tony Gwynn (3,141) and Cal Ripken Jr. (3,184) by the end of the 2012 season. Both Hall of Famers, faces of the Padres and Orioles alike, terrific company for Jeter to pass by on his assault of the record books.
Is it somewhere between Eddie Murray (3,255) and the great Willie Mays (3,283)? Probably. While injuries are more often later in your career, Jeter has been fortunate to avoid those injuries throughout his career. If Jeter avoids major injury, 111 hits per season in 2012 and 2013 is all that it would take to pass them. Furthermore, 111 hits per season is actually drastically off his average of 176 throughout his career, and with that he'd pass both Murray and Mays.
Then it's the Top 10, with names such as Yastrzemski (3,419), Aaron (3,771), and The Hit King Pete Rose (4,256) being a reach for Jeter. Are Paul Molitor (3,319) and Honus Wagner (3,415) out of play as well?!? I'm going to go with no and yes, because Wagner isn't worried yet.
For Derek Jeter, his career has been one of legends just like the names we've rattled off above and some. Jeter is one of the games most respected players by both players and fans alike. He's been the ultimate professional for his entire career. A cornerstone for the Yankees you've witnessed dominate. A leader which carries more respect than any player I've ever seen this side of Calvin Edwin Ripken Jr., that's right.
My bet is that Jeter sits down with slightly over 3,340 hits which will be greatly dimished by the class he has displayed throughout some of the most challenging times in the City of New York (go back to September 11th) and the most challenging times for Major League Baseball (The Mitchell Report). All this being said, Jeter gets nothing but 'Kudos' from me.
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