By the Numbers: Jeter's Quest
One year ago today, Derek Jeter went on the disabled list with a strained calf, putting a halt to his chase for 3,000 hits.
Here we are 366 days later, and Jeter, who was “done” according to many at the time of the injury, sports a .329 average over the last calendar year and has gone from 28th on the all-time hits list to 15th, passing “brand names” like Brett, Gwynn, and Boggs along the way.
With 3,171 career knocks after Wednesday's win over Atlanta, Jeter now needs 13 to tie and 14 to pass another brand name, Cal Ripken Jr., for 14th place all-time.
In honor of this big anniversary in The Captain’s chase, we present a By The Numbers chronicling some fun facts about Ripken and the other 13 men that stand between No. 2 and No. 1.
2,832: Cal Ripken sits 14th on the all-time list with 3,184 hits, and he smacked 2,832 of those during “The Streak.” With 2,832 hits in 2,632 games, you can see why Ripken was one of the most feared at-bats in baseball.
121: Napoleon "Nap" Lajoie, who is 13th all-time, recorded 3,242 career hits, and his 3,000th came in dramatic fashion. Lajoie reached the milestone in his 121st and final game of the 1914 season – one that also turned out to be his last with the Cleveland Naps – making Nap's final hit as a Nap the biggest of his career.
15.48: Eddie Murray has the 12th-most hits all-time, and is second among switch hitters in both hits and home runs (behind Pete Rose and Mickey Mantle, respectively). In fact, 504 of Murray’s 3,255 hits, or 15.48 percent, have left the yard.
24: Derek Jeter has the most hits of anyone who has ever played for the Yankees, but he’s only second on the list of people who have played in New York. The top man on that list is an iconic No. 24, Willie Mays, who got his first base knock as a New York Giant in 1951 and his 3,283rd as a New York Met in 1973.
22.5: Eddie Collins belted 3,315 hits in his career, but after getting No. 3,314 on September 18, 1928, it took Collins nearly two full years to get the final one – which came on August 2, 1930, in the penultimate at-bat of his career.
2: While it took Collins nearly two years to go from 3,314 to 3,315, it took Paul Molitor only about two hours. Then with the Twins, Molitor reached 3,314 with a first-inning single on September 21, 1998 against the White Sox, and six innings later, tied Collins with his second single of the game. He would pass Collins two days later, and record another three hits that week to finish with 3,319.
8: He was No. 8 in Boston for 23 years, and he’s No. 8 on the all-time hits list. He is Carl Yastrzemski, who, despite having 3,419 hits in those 23 seasons, never got more than 191 in any one season.
15: Honus Wagner owns perhaps the most famous baseball card of all-time, and owns seventh place on the all-time hits list with 3,420. He’s also part of one of the biggest two-team trades in MLB history, the December 1899 deal that saw the Louisville Colonels trade 11 men to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a four-player group headed by pitched Jack Chesbro – the same Jack Chesbro who would set a Yankees franchise single-season record in 1904 with 41 victories.
26: Cap Anson’s 3,435 hits only have him sixth all-time today, but he was the first “lasting” all-time hits leader. Anson began his career in 1871, the first year of Major League Baseball, and was a distant No. 1 on the list when he retired in 1897 – a spot he held for more than a quarter-century until Ty Cobb passed him in 1923.
4: Anson dropped to No. 2 in 1923, and four years later in 1927, he dropped to No. 3 when Tris Speaker record career hit No. 3,436. Speaker, who was nine when Anson retired, was in his lone season with the Washington Senators when he passed Anson, and would finish his career in 1928 with the Athletics after 22 years and 3,514 total hits.
1: Derek Jeter is third all-time in hits among players who spent their whole career with one franchise. Yastrzemski is No. 2, and No.1 is Stan “The Man” Musial, who got all 3,630 tallies in the “H” column as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
1-2-3: Only one man in MLB history has 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, and 2,000 RBI. That man is none other than Henry Aaron, who is the career leader in RBI with 2,297, ranks second in home runs to Barry Bonds, and is third all-time to Cobb and Rose with his 3,771 hits.
62: Speaking of Tyrus Cobb, the “Georgia Peach” passed Cap Anson in 1923 and was the all-time hits leader for 62 years until Pete Rose passed him in 1985. Cobb is still the all-time leader among true left-handed hitters (as Rose was a switch hitter), and if you took Rose’s stats solely as a lefty, then Cobb’s 4,189 hits would place him 1,006 ahead of Charlie Hustle.
2004: Finally we come to No. 1, Pete Rose, whose 4,256 hits are the most all-time, and who was rightfully inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004…by World Wrestling Entertainment, for whom he had appeared at three consecutive WrestleMania events from 1998-2000.
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