During Wednesday’s REX & RAY SHOW, we chatted about the careers and comparisons of Cal Ripken Jr. and Derek Jeter.
Without question, both players are HALL OF FAMERS. Both players have been standards for their respective franchises. And, both players have been tremendous ambassadors for the sport.
But, which player was better?
I’m blogging about it NOW – but we’re debating it TODAY @ 3pm on the REX & RAY SHOW.
Cal Ripken certainly has his attributes and distinctions. Of course, he’ll be primarily regarded for his “Iron Man” status – having played more consecutive games than any player in history. It’s a feat that Baltimore promotes proudly.
But, Ripken can also hang his hat on some other notable accomplishments …..
He is one of only two players to garner 3000 hits and 400 homeruns, exclusively in the American League.
His 345 homeruns as a shortstop stands as a record.
He owns 2 American League Most Valuable Player Awards, 19 All Star appearances and 2 Gold Gloves.
Yet, aside from all the numerical achievements, Cal Ripken’s reputation is probably his most appealing quality. He played the game the RIGHT WAY. He was a steadying and at times, the BEST, offensive force in the lineup. And, he was absolutely a crucial component to the team’s 1983 World Championship …..
So how can a player who hasn’t finished his career or played 20 seasons even be mentioned in some relevant comparison?
That player is Derek Jeter and his resume’ is pretty impressive, as well. Of course, Jeter is the face of the New York Yankees and he’s certainly visible on billboards, magazines and television commercials across the American landscape.
But, apart from the celebrity status, Jeter has forged his own legendary career …..
He is on pace to become a member of the 3,000 hit club, in 2011. Barring injury or an uncommon slump, Derek Jeter could achieve his 3,000th hit in less than 9500 games – an accomplishment that has occured just 3 times (Carew, Boggs, Gwynn), in the last 25 years.
His career also appears to be a safe distance from the finish line. It’s certainly not out of the question to imagine Derek Jeter finishing his career with nearly 4,000 hits, while ranking third on the all-time list.
In addition to basehits, Jeter owns 229 homeruns and 310 stolen bases. Indeed, he has an opportunity to achieve 3,000 hits, 300 homeruns and 400 stolen bases. If so, he’ll be the ONLY player to ever accomplish this mark.
Obviously, Derek Jeter’s above listed statistical data does not rightfully reflect his reputation and character within the game. His biggest or most distinct quality is that of a WINNER.
In Baltimore, we can hate the Yankees with virtual disdain. But, there is no denying Jeter’s pedigree when it comes to performing at the most crucial times – especially in the postseason.
In 559 postseason at-bats, he owns a .313 batting average, including a .321 clip in 156 World Series at-bats.
Many naysayers will point to his surrounding cast as a tangible benefit to Derek Jeter’s success, especially with postseason appearances. Fair enough – but, he made the most of opportunities and certainly did more than his part in ensuring his Yankees teams succeeded …..
Count ’em …. 5 World Championships, 10 All Star appearances, 4 Gold Gloves and 4 Silver Sluggers.
It’s Ripken vs. Jeter – during Chris Bonetti’s “Around The Bases” segment @ 3pm TODAY, on the REX & RAY SHOW !!!!