pagePic

3000 and more

jeter-3000-2-blue_designThis weekend Struming celebrates Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit.

Ironically, I was initially a bit conflicted as Jeter got his 3000th hit. Here’s why– I am going to the Bronx to see the Yankee-Tampa game today (Sunday) at 1pm, the last game before the All-Star break. I bought the tickets last week on StubHub in the hope of seeing hit #3000. With Jeter at 2998 going into Friday, I thought there was little hope to for me see 3000 at the Stadium. Surely, he would get 2 hits in total in the Friday & Saturday games. Then Friday’s game was rained out—and rescheduled for September. Wait. Only Saturday’s game and he needs 2 hits. Since Jeter averages roughly 1 hit per game, I thought there was a 75%+ chance he would go into Sunday’s game needing 1 or 2 hits. And I’d be there!

Then it happened. A single in the first inning, #2999. What should I root for? Should I root for Jeter making outs so I could see #3000 on Sunday. Never. I can never root for outs. Walks? Yes, walks. Walks are good.

We know now that Derek Jeter not only got his 3000th hit (a home run, no less) but also hit # 3001, 3002, and 3003. A 5-hit game! Not too shabby for a supposedly declining talent. The first Yankee ever to reach 3000 hits in his Yankee career.

There are those who feel that Jeter is not the player he once was. Probably true. He has a .312 career average (and comparable post season average, where many stars fade). Will he hit .300 again—possibly, but not likely. He hit .270 last year, his lowest season average, and that’s his current average as well this year. Good, not great. But I’m surprised at the number of Jeter detractors. Jeter has gone from the best shortstop in baseball, 5-time World Champion, .312 career average, captain of the Yankees to merely one of the better shortstops of the game. No shame in hitting .270 as a shortstop. No shame in making the right play every time. Running out every ball. Jeter is no longer a superstar, he’s merely a good player. Is he overpaid at $15 Million annually?  Based on current statistics he is obviously very well compensated–at a rate beyond his current performance. But he is far more than an excellent player. He is the Yankees brand ambassador–the bridge from Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra, Ford. His career is exemplary and it is far from over. He is the ultimate Yankee. See Lessons in Leadership from the Captain.

At age 37, prior to his 3000th hit,  Jeter was #28 on the all time hit list—below. Now he is #27 with 3003 hits. If he remains healthy and productive this season , Jeter is likely to move to #20 by season’s end if he passes Craig Biggio at 3060 hits.

1.

Pete Rose 

4256

2.

Ty Cobb+ 

4189

3.

Hank Aaron+ 

3771

4.

Stan Musial+ 

3630

5.

Tris Speaker+ 

3514

6.

Cap Anson+ 

3435

7.

Honus Wagner+ 

3420

8.

Carl Yastrzemski+ 

3419

9.

Paul Molitor+ 

3319

10.

Eddie Collins+ 

3315

11.

Willie Mays+ 

3283

12.

Eddie Murray+ 

3255

13.

Nap Lajoie+ 

3242

14.

Cal Ripken+ 

3184

15.

George Brett+ 

3154

16.

Paul Waner+ 

3152

17.

Robin Yount+ 

3142

18.

Tony Gwynn+ 

3141

19.

Dave Winfield+ 

3110

20.

Craig Biggio 

3060

21.

Rickey Henderson+ 

3055

22.

Rod Carew+ 

3053

23.

Lou Brock+ 

3023

24.

Rafael Palmeiro 

3020

25.

Wade Boggs+ 

3010

26.

Al Kaline+ 

3007

27.

Roberto Clemente+ 

3000

28.

Derek Jeter 

2998

Where will Jeter end his career? Obviously no one knows for sure, but it’s not unlikely that Jeter could move up to #5-8 . But if he retired today with 3003 hits, he’d be a first ballot hall-of famer and Yankee icon. But I for one am looking forward to seeing more of Jeter.

Appreciate him now. He’s an all-time great.

PS Now that we’ve gotten over the 3000 hit hump, Mo is only 21 saves from becoming the all time regular season saves leader–Maybe by the end of season? Or early next?




More Strumings

Leave a Reply