Derek Jeter has made the most of at-bats against David PriceYankees Captain has used matchup with Price to reach several milestones
Astute fans may remember that Price is also the one who surrendered the homer that was Jeter's 3,000th hit, but as it turns out, The Captain actually has a handful of milestone hits off the Rays lefty, all of which have come at home.
While it may not seem outrageous for someone to collect a lot of milestones against the same team (especially a division rival) or even one pitcher (again, especially if he is a division rival), the fact that Jeter owns another perennial All-Star like Price is just a testament to The Captain's talent.
Who knows what the horizon will hold, or if Jeter will even get another chance to face Price before he retires, but let's look back on a quartet of classic moments from The Captain vs. The Lefty:
Sept. 14, 2008: The first tie with Gehrig
Lou Gehrig once held the record for hits at the old Yankee Stadium, racking up 1,269 at the House That Ruth Built, but as time ticked down on the building's lifespan, Derek Jeter crept up on Gehrig. Finally, on Sept. 14, 2008, in the eighth-to-last game of the old Stadium's existence, The Captain went 3-for-4 against Price to reach 1,269 himself - with, as would become his trend, the record-tying hit being a solo homer off the lefty. Jeter would break Gehrig's record two days later against the White Sox and then top his overall Yankees record roughly a year later in the new building across the street.
July 9, 2011: The Captain reaches "3,000 with an exclamation point!"
It's a play that seemingly needs no description, but here's one anyway: It was the top of the third inning, it was a 3-2 count, and it was a breaking ball from Price that Jeter drove into the left field bleachers to become the 28th man with 3,000 career hits and just the second - after ex-Yankee and Ray Wade Boggs - to do so by hitting a home run. It was the second hit of a 5-for-5 day for Jeter, who clearly showed no nerves after reaching the cusp of the milestone just one at-bat before. For further love, you can view it below, complete with Michael Kay's emphatic call that makes up the title of this blurb:
Sept. 15, 2012: Say Hey to the Top 10
A lot has been made of Jeter's march into the all-time Top 10 in hits, one that will likely see him end his career somewhere between sixth and eighth (his current spot). He's passed a lot of "brand names" on that march, and on Sept. 15, 2012, it was a fifth-inning single off Price that gave Jeter his 3,284th hit and put him past Willie Mays into sole possession of tenth place all-time. He has since "said hey" to Eddie Collins and Paul Molitor as he moved into ninth and eighth respectively, and entering Wednesday, Jeter is 23 hits away from tying Carl Yastrzemski for seventh.
July 1, 2014: Double the pleasure
And finally, almost exactly five years after he became" Mr. 3,000," The Captain once again tagged Price for a milestone, his fourth-inning double marking the 534th of his career and tying him with Gehrig once again.
The hit also came just a day before the Yankees celebrated the 75th anniversary of Gehrig's number retirement and farewell speech at Yankee Stadium, and while it won't come off Price, if Jeter smacks double no. 535 off Rays starter Jake Odorizzi or any other pitcher Wednesday…well, there may be no more fitting tribute from one Yankees "Iron Horse" to another.