Derek Jeter collected 2 hits tonight against the Orioles to pass Lou Gehrig and become the Yankee’s all-time hits leader. ESPN has spent the better part of the last week talking about the oncoming feat and celebrating Jeter’s greatness. I don’t argue that Jeter is a great player. He’s a HOFer with multiple championships, there’s no argument. Let’s cut the hero worship though.
He received a standing ovation tonight and will hold a post game press conference for moving into 53rd place on the All Time hit list with 2722. Yes, he now ranks ahead of Lou Gehrig, and just behind Roberto Alomar. Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I don’t recall Alomar holding a press conference when he collected his 2724th career hit. I’ll celebrate Jeter’s accomplishment when he actually gets to a number that matters, like 3000 hits, which will probably occur sometime in the 2011 season.
Ken Griffey Jr. is MLB’s active hits leader at 2752. He is reportedly interested in returning next season for another season with the Mariners, but it is doubtful he’ll stick around long enough to reach 3000. Alex Rodriguez currently has 2512 hits at the age of 33 and is a virtual lock to reach 300o hits, probably sometime during the 2012 season.
Strangely enough the next active player with next best chance to get to 3000 could be Ichiro. He currently has 2001 hits at the age of 35. Ichiro is a hit machine averaging over 200 hits per season in his big league career. If he maintains his current pace and stays healthy Ichiro could reach 3000 hits around his 40th birthday. Counting the 1278 hits he collected in Japan Ichiro currently has 3279 professional hits and if he reaches 3000 MLB hits he would also surpass Pete Rose and his record of 4256 professional hits.