The New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter became just the 28th player in MLB history to reach the 3,000 career hits mark on Saturday (July 9), during his team’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The 37-year-old baseball great went 5-for-5 this afternoon, in a win over the Rays, capping things off with a game-winning single in the eighth inning during a game on his team’s home field.
What a way to make history!
In an afternoon that boasted a soldout Yankees Stadium, Jeter nailed a homer off a 3-2 third-inning curveball, which was recovered by a fan who said he would give Jeter the ball. It was his 3,000th hit, reports ESPN.
When the ball went over the wall, Jeter was making his way down the first base line where Rays first baseman Casey Kotchman doffed his hat. Immediately after, Jeter touched home plate, and his best friend on the team, Jorge Posada, gave him a huge hug. Immediately after, the rest of the Yankees poured out of the dugout and the right field bullpen, circling Jeter in celebration.
Finally, the crowd broke through and Jeter got a huge hug from Alex Rodriguez. After the celebration, Jeter receded into the dugout, but the 48,103 fans summoned him out for a round of applause. Many of the Rays stood outside their dugout, clapping with the fans.
With the hit, Jeter reached the 3,000 hit milestone, making him the 28th player to hit the mark overall, and the fourth youngest. Ty Cobb (34 years, 244 days), Hank Aaron (36 years, 101 days), and Robin Yount (36 years, 359 days) were the youngest to the mark. But, Jeter reached it faster than hit-king Pete Rose, who was 37 years, 21 days.
The Houston Astros’ Biggio was the last player to reach 3,000, back in June 2007. Biggio also accumulated all his hits with one team. Jeter is the 14th player with 3,000 hits for one club.
During the day, Jeter added a double in the fifth, moving him past Roberto Clemente for 27th all-time. In the eighth, Jeter hit an RBI single up the middle to give the Yankees the lead for good, giving him 3,003 hits.
The record holder for most career hits is Pete Rose, with 4,256. However, Jeter is ahead of the pace set by Pete Rose, who retired at age 45. While Jeter is signed for two more years, with a player option for 2014, he said this week that Rose was not on his radar.
“You have to play another five years and get 200 hits to get that extra thousand,” Jeter said. “You’re talking about a long, long time. You never say never, but it’s not something that’s on my mind.”
The player’s journey to the feat will be played out in an HBO documentary, which will air in the coming weeks. Via a partnership with the MLB, HBO is producing an hour-long doc which follows Jeter’s race to 3,000 hits, called “DEREK JETER 3K.”
At press time, there was not a date for its premiere.