Top Nine MLB Hit Leaders
By Lou DiPietro
This week, Derek Jeter passed both Nap Lajoie and Eddie Murray to move into 11th place on Major League Baseball’s official all-time hit list. Willie Mays and his 3,283 career hits currently sit 10th, and if The Captain gets to 196 total hits this season, he will surpass the “Say Hey Kid” and fully move into the Top 10.
Beyond that, there are nine men who are for now etched into baseball immortality as the only ones with at least 3,300 knocks. And, while the top echelon may seem unreachable for Jeter, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he finishes 2013 in sixth or even fifth place ... which would put him smack dab in the middle of this list if we were to re-do it next summer.
EDDIE COLLINS (3,313)
Collins played 25 years in the Majors, and may be most known for being one of the key hitters on the scandalous 1919 White Sox. That aside, he also posted a career average of .333, and has more hits than games played (2,826).
PAUL MOLITOR (3,319)
"The Ignitor" recorded his first hit as a Brewer, notched No. 3,319 as a Twin, and stroked the 3,317 in between as one of the greatest hitters of the 1980s and 1990s. He was also versatile in the field, earning All-Star nods at three different positions.
CARL YASTRZEMSKI (3,419)
Yaz is a lot like Jeter in some ways, as he spent all 21 of his MLB seasons in the same city (Boston) and won six gold gloves in a nine-year span from 1963-71. And, his last name would be worth a minimum of 29 points in Scrabble!
HONUS WAGNER (3,430)
"The Flying Dutchman" led the National League in batting eight times, and his baseball card is one of the rarest and most valuable these days. He also played on the only two Pirates teams to win 100 games, a feat that seems like forever ago because it last happened in 1917.
TRIS SPEAKER (3,514)
Even if Derek Jeter's 2013 is similar to his 2012, it's a longshot that he'd be able to catch Speaker by the end of next year. It's an even longer shot that Jeter will ever catch his doubles record, as Speaker's 792 two-baggers are the most in MLB history.
STAN MUSIAL (3,630)
"Stan The Man" missed the 1945 season while serving in the military, and even if he knocked just 172 hits (his career full-season average) during that campaign, he'd have finished with 3,802, which would put him comfortably ahead of our next honoree....
HENRY AARON (3,771)
And that man is "Hammerin' Hank" Aaron, who finished his career second in hits behind Ty Cobb and is now third. Tough break, but he at least had that whole home run record thing for a little while, and his 624 career doubles have him in the Top 10 all-time in that category, too.
TY COBB (4,191)
The best pure left-handed hitter in the history of the game, "The Georgia Peach" finished his career in 1928 and spent nearly six decades as the all-time leader before being surpassed by Pete Rose - but his .366 career average still remains as the best in history.
PETE ROSE (4,256)
Fun Pete Rose fact: his total of doubles alone (746) is almost as high as the overall career hit total of Ray Fosse, who is better known for being knocked into the middle of next week by "Charlie Hustle" at the 1970 All-Star Game than any of his 758 career hits.