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Archive for July 9th, 2011

Derek Jeter didn’t just join the 3,000 hit club. He broke the door down. By driving a 3-2 breaking pitch deep into the left field seats, the Yankees’ shortstop not only became the 28th player to reach the milestone, but the first to do it in pinstripes. In addition to his historic homer, Jeter added four more hits, including an eighth inning single that produced the game winning run. The Captain has always had a flair for the dramatic, but no one could have expected such a vintage performance.

Since the advent of professional baseball in 1871, 17,614 players have crossed the white lines, but only 28 have reached 3,000 hits, according to baseball-reference.com. Needless to say, the fraternity is an exclusive one. What makes the benchmark even more impressive is that while the significance of certain other statistics has waned over the 141-year history of the game, hits have always remained a defining measurement of ability, consistency, and longevity. Getting to 3,000 means just as much now as it ever did.

In honor of Jeter’s historic accomplishment, listed below is the rest of the 3,000 hit club along with details about how they gained admittance.

The Evolution of the 3,000 Hit Club

Player (Age) Hit Date Team Opponent Pitcher
Cap Anson* ? ? Cubs ? ?
Honus Wagner (40) 1B 6/9/1914 Pirates Phillies Erskine Mayer
Nap Lajoie (39) 2B 9/27/1914 Indians Yankees Marty McHale
Ty Cobb (34) 1B 8/19/1921 Tigers Red Sox Elmer Myers
Tris Speaker (37) 1B 5/17/1925 Indians Senators Tom Zachary
Eddie Collins (38) 1B 6/3/1925 White Sox Tigers Rip Collins
Paul Waner (39) 1B 6/19/1942 Braves Pirates Rip Sewell
Stan Musial (37) 2B 5/13/1958 Cardinals Cubs Moe Drabowsky
Hank Aaron (36) 1B 5/17/1970 Braves Reds Wayne Simpson
Willie Mays (39) 1B 7/18/1970 Giants Expos Mike Wegener
Roberto Clemente (37) 2B 9/30/1972 Pirates Mets Jon Matlack
Al Kaline (39) 2B 9/24/1974 Tigers Orioles Dave McNally
Pete Rose  (37) 1B 5/5/1978 Reds Expos Steve Rogers
Lou Brock  (40) 1B 8/13/1979 Cardinals Cubs Dennis Lamp
Carl Yastrzemski (39) 1B 9/12/1979 Red Sox  Yankees Jim Beattie
Rod Carew (39) 1B 8/4/1985 Angels Twins Frank Viola
Robin Yount (36) 1B 9/9/1992 Brewers Indians Jose Mesa
George Brett (39) 1B 9/30/1992 Royals Angels Tim Fortugno
Dave Winfield  (41) 1B 9/16/1993 Twins Athletics Dennis Eckersley
Eddie Murray (39) 1B 6/30/1995 Indians Twins Mike Trombley
Paul Molitor (39) 3B 9/16/1996 Twins Royals Jose Rosado
Tony Gwynn (39) 1B 8/6/1999 Padres Expos Dan Smith
Wade Boggs (41) HR 8/7/1999 Devil Rays Indians Chris Haney
Cal Ripken (39) 1B 4/15/2000 Orioles Twins Hector Carrasco
Rickey Henderson (42) 2B 10/7/2001 Padres Rockies John Thomson
Rafael Palmeiro (40) 2B 7/15/2005 Orioles Mariners Joel Pineiro
Craig Biggio (41) 1B 6/28/2007 Astros Rockies Aaron Cook
Derek Jeter (37) HR 7/8/2011 Yankees Rays David Price

*Due to record keeping errors and rule interpretations, Cap Anson’s reported hit total ranges from 2,995 to over 3,500.
Note: Home team in bold.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

  • Derek Jeter is the only hitter to go 5-5 in the same game he recorded his 3,000th hit. Craig Biggio is the only other play to record five hits.
  • Derek Jeter and Wade Boggs are the only two players whose 3,000th hit was a homerun.
  • Paul Molitor is the only player to reach 3,000 hits with a triple.
  • At .483, Stan Musial carried the highest batting average into his 3,000-hit game. Cal Ripken’s .176 batting average was the lowest.
  • Roberto Clemente recorded his 3,000th hit in the last plate appearance of his career. During the offseason, he was killed in a plane crash while participating in a humanitarian effort in Nicaragua.
  • Dennis Eckersley is the only Hall of Fame pitcher to surrender an opponent’s 3,000th hit (Dave Winfield).
  • Minnesota Twins’ pitchers have surrendered the 3,000th hit to four players (Tris Speaker, Rod Carew, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken), the most by any franchise.
  • Three players have reached 3,000 hits in an Indians’ uniform (Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker and Eddie Murray), more than any other team.
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Over at least the past three weeks, Alex Rodriguez has been playing with what was termed a “sore knee”. Since first mention of the diagnosis during the Yankees June series at Wrigley Field, Arod continued to get on base and play gold glove caliber defense. However, as has often been the case during his career, much of the focus was on what he hadn’t been able to do: hit homeruns.

Pain in Arod's knee could have a crippling effect on the Yankees' lineup.

It now seems obvious that Arod’s inability to drive the ball over the wall was the result of playing on an injured knee. Now, the question becomes did his sore knee originate as a slight meniscus tear, or did one develop after three weeks of playing with an injury that could have been alleviated with a few days of rest? 

This isn’t the first time the Yankees might have paid a heavy price for allowing a star to play through an injury. Back in late May, Joba Chamberlain complained of general soreness, but he was allowed to continue pitching through the pain. In fact, on June 5, he threw an almost career-high number of pitches in a relief outing against the Angels. Shortly thereafter, Chamberlain was sent for an MRI, which discovered a ligament tear that resulted in season-ending Tommy John surgery.

(more…)

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