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Jeteronomy The Milestone: Take Two

Lasting Derek Jeter Memories: Hit #2,722


“When he enters a room, there is always a recording of Bob Sheppard announcing his presence …”

“The Oxford English Dictionary apologized to him for neglecting to include the word ‘Jeterian'”

“He has brought such honor to his uniform number, when little kids have to go to the bathroom, their mothers say ‘do you have to do a number 3?'”

“He is . . . the most interesting shortstop the Yankees have had since Tony Fernandez.”


“I don’t often drink . . . but when I do, I never drive my new 2011 Ford Edge with the cool Panoramic Vista roof immediately afterwards.”

* * *

Once upon a time, in the days before free agency, “franchise players” were plentiful.  Most of the upper echelon teams had at least one such player.  Even some of the sad sack teams had their icon.

Here’s a list of the “2,000 or more games in career, all for one team” retired players club

Player G From To Tm
Honus Wagner 2298 1901 1917 PIT
Lou Gehrig 2164 1923 1939 NYY
Charlie Gehringer 2323 1924 1942 DET
Mel Ott 2730 1926 1947 NYG
Luke Appling 2422 1930 1950 CHW
Ted Williams 2292 1939 1960 BOS
Stan Musial 3026 1941 1963 STL
Mickey Mantle 2401 1951 1968 NYY
Ernie Banks 2528 1953 1971 CHC
Al Kaline 2834 1953 1974 DET
Roberto Clemente 2433 1955 1972 PIT
Brooks Robinson 2896 1955 1977 BAL
Bill Mazeroski 2163 1956 1972 PIT
Carl Yastrzemski 3308 1961 1983 BOS
Willie Stargell 2360 1962 1982 PIT
Johnny Bench 2158 1967 1983 CIN
Bill Russell 2181 1969 1986 LAD
Dave Concepcion 2488 1970 1988 CIN
Mike Schmidt 2404 1972 1989 PHI
George Brett 2707 1973 1993 KCR
Frank White 2324 1973 1990 KCR
Robin Yount 2856 1974 1993 MIL
Jim Rice 2089 1974 1989 BOS
Lou Whitaker 2390 1977 1995 DET
Alan Trammell 2293 1977 1996 DET
Cal Ripken 3001 1981 2001 BAL
Tony Gwynn 2440 1982 2001 SDP
Barry Larkin 2180 1986 2004 CIN
Edgar Martinez 2055 1987 2004 SEA
Craig Biggio 2850 1988 2007 HOU
Jeff Bagwell 2150 1991 2005 HOU
Bernie Williams 2076 1991 2006 NYY

Nowadays, the Braves’ Chipper Jones and the Yankees captain are two of the few active “iconic” players in baseball, easily identified by their career-long associations with their respective teams.

With career-long associations with one franchise comes the inevitable march up the team leaderboard for many counting stats, and hits is probably the “showcase” number.  Here are the current franchise leaders for each team (excusing the Yankees for a moment):

Franchise Leader Total
Detroit Ty Cobb 3,902
St. Louis Stan Musial 3,630
Atlanta Hank Aaron 3,600
Boston Carl Yastrzemksi 3,419
Cincinnati Pete Rose 3,358
San Francisco Willie Mays 3,187
Baltimore Cal Ripken Jr. 3,184
Kansas City George Brett 3,154
Milwaukee Robin Yount 3,142
San Diego Tony Gwynn 3,141
Houston Craig Biggio 3,060
Pittsburgh Roberto Clemente 3,000
Minnesota Sam Rice 2,889
Los Angeles (NL) Zack Wheat 2,804
Chicago (AL) Luke Appling 2,749
Chicago (NL) Ernie Banks 2,583
Los Angeles (AL) Garrett Anderson 2,368
Colorado Todd Helton (active) 2,308
Seattle Edgar Martinez 2,247
Philadelphia Mike Schmidt 2,234
Cleveland Nap Lajoie 2,046
Texas Michael Young (active) 1,949
Oakland Bert Campaneris 1,882
Washington Tim Wallach 1,694
Toronto Tony Fernandez 1,583
Tampa Bay Carl Crawford 1,480
New York (NL) Ed Kranepool 1,418
Arizona Luis Gonzalez 1,337
Florida Luis Castillo 1,273

Given the Yankees history, its surprising to note that the Bombers have never had a 3,000 hit man.  Though Joltin’ Joe, The Mick and the Iron Horse all eclipsed 2,000 hits in a Yankee uni, Joe DiMaggio lost three prime years to the service and Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig saw their productivity diminished due to injury and illness respectively.

So when Derek Sanderson Jeter came upon the scene in 1995, no one could have foreseen that this polite, photogenic and disciplined shortstop would stand upon the precipice of Yankee history on the night of September 11, 2009.  Jeter’s inside-out, line drive to right-center machine of a swing had pumped out 2,721 hits to that point, knotting him with Gehrig.

Despite it being the eighth anniversary of the Taliban attacks that killed nearly 3,000 New Yorkers, and despite a rainshower that delayed the start of the game by nearly 90 minutes, there was electricity and anticipation in the new Stadium that night. A near-capacity crowd of 46,771 braved the elements to cheer on The Captain.

The Yanks faced Chris Tillman of the Orioles.  Tillman was making only his ninth career start in the Majors.  Leading off the bottom of the first, Jeter struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch, but Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer later in the inning, and the Yanks still led 3-1 when Jeter stepped to the plate leading off the third.

He took the first two pitches for balls, then in truly “Jeterian” form, rapped a single between Orioles’ first baseman Luke Scott and the foul line, with Nick Markakis tracking the ball down as it made its way towards the right field corner. Jeter rounded first, clapped his hands and returned to the base.  He shook first base coach Mick Kelleher’s hand, handed him his shin guard, and then, the Yankees filed out of the dugout amidst a thunderous two-minute standing ovation and chants of “Jeter! Jeter!” from the crowd. Jeter’s father could be seen high-fiving anyone and everyone he could up in one of the Yankee suites. In the opposing dugout, the Orioles clapped in appreciation of the achievement.

It was an odd sight, as the Yanks (and Orioles) were all wearing red caps for the memory of “9/11”, but the night belonged to Yankee navy blue and white. Jeter would end up two for four on the night, leaving the game after a second rain delay. The Yanks would end up losing the game 10-4, but with a nine game lead in the division heading into play and only 20 games remaining, the loss was rendered especially insignificant. Derek Jeter had broken the 72-year-old hits record of Lou Gehrig, and the “new” Yankee Stadium had its first truly memorable moment.


1 Mattpat11   ~  Jul 6, 2011 12:53 pm

I was at the Stadium with my family for this hit. Just as the pitch was being thrown, a bunch of drunk middle aged men showed up and started filing into the row in front of us. They stopped dead directly in front of us and completely blocked my sister's view of the pitch and the subsequent hit. Pissed me the hell off.

If you're too lazy/drunk/stupid to get to your seats in a timely manner especially for a potentially big moment that everyone is going to want to try to take pictures of, either a) wait in the damn concourse, or move with some kind of urgency.

Besides that, everything was great.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 6, 2011 3:59 pm

Wow, impressive job, D. Thanks.

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