The chase is over. Derek Jeter just became the 28th player in baseball history with 3,000 hits with a third-inning home run off the Rays’ David Price. Jeter is the second player to hit a home run for his 3,000th hit – oddly, the other guy to do it (Wade Boggs) wasn’t a power hitter either. Video here:
Though a trip to the disabled list prevented Jeter from reaching the milestone earlier, the same injury probably ensured he reached the mark at Yankee Stadium. And considering Jeter is the first Yankee ever to get 3,000 hits (which still doesn’t seem like it can be right no matter how many times you hear it), there’s something kind of cool about him getting No. 3,000 in front of the home crowd…well, unless you’re a Yankee hater.
Even if you are a Yankee hater, though, it’s hard to argue Jeter hasn’t earned this moment. Yes, he’s in decline as a player. Yes, he’s been overrated at various times throughout his career. But the numbers don’t lie – he was a great player for a long time, as well as a crucial part (perhaps the central point) of five championship teams.
You don’t get to 3,000 hits by accident, as the grudging respect many who can’t stand Jeter still have for the guy will attest. As overblown as much of the hype surrounding Jeter over the years has been, this milestone itself is still a big deal. 28 players in baseball history. This is a hell of a list. Jeter belongs.