Jeter Climbs Hits List
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter took sole possession of sixth place on the all-time hits list Saturday, recording the 3,431st hit of his career.
The milestone hit – an infield single that came off Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium – saw Jeter move ahead of Hall of Famer Honus Wagner on the list.
Wagner played 21 seasons between 1897 and 1917, three with the now defunct Louisville Colonels and 18 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The last player to surpass “The Flying Dutchman” on the hits list was Pete Rose in 1980.
So far in his swan song year, Jeter has recorded 115 hits, enough to pass three players on the all-time list; Paul Molitor (3,319), Carl Yastrzemski (3,419) and Wagner (3,430).
Jeter now sits 84 hits behind the fifth placed Tris Speaker (3,514), a number that looks unlikely to be beaten before the 40-year-old’s impending retirement.
Jeter would be forgiven for lamenting his lost season a year ago. A typical Derek Jeter season in 2013 would likely have seen him pass Stan Musial (3,630) too. In reality, Jeter is probably the one player out there today that wouldn’t be too fussed, after all, sixth is a pretty sweet place to finish in the list of all-time greats.
Some would argue that Jeter isn’t No. 6 on the list though.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, sixth place on the list belongs to Cap Anson, a Hall of Famer that took to the diamond between 1871 and 1897.
The site and many other statisticians recognize Anson as having recorded 3,435 hits in his time with the Rockford Forest Citys, Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Stockings/Colts.
The reason for the discrepancy – as documented in this blog from Baseball-Reference.com – is the status of the National Association, the league Anson spent his first five years playing in. The NA is not considered by Major League Baseball and its statisticians to have been a major league, and therefore the 423 hits he recorded during that time are not counted towards his “official” record.
The legitimacy of the argument for Anson being above Jeter, or for Jeter being above Anson for that matter, is likely to be a moot point soon; “The Captain” needs just five hits to surpass “Cap” on the unofficial list. Barring a season-ending injury, Jeter looks good for a five and a few more.
Jeter’s latest milestone came on a celebratory day for the New York Yankees organization and its fans.
Ahead of the matinee game with the Indians, the Yankees unveiled a Monument Park plaque for former outfield Paul O’Neill.
O’Neill, who played nine seasons with the Yankees, won four World Series titles alongside Jeter (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000). Former teammates David Cone, Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Joe Girardi and Derek Jeter were on hand to share in the celebrations.
O’Neill is the 29th Yankee to be inducted into Monument Park.
Some fans continue to call for O’Neill’s No. 21 to be retired. The Yankees have yet to confirm whether this will happen at some point in the future.
Former Yankee pitcher Goose Gossage was inducted into Monument Park earlier this year, while former Yankee manager Joe Torre ill inducted later this month. He’ll also see his No. 6 retired.
Plans are in place to induct O’Neill and Jeter’s teammate Bernie Williams next season. After that, it’ll be Jeter’s turn and one thing’s for sure: that No. 2 will be retired to go alongside a plaque for “The Captain”.
There was a bittersweet edge to Saturday’s festivities. The Yankees fell 3-0 to the Indians, leading Sunday’s game becoming a rubber match, and a game the New York side won’t want to lose.
The Yankees were also forced to add catcher Brian McCann to the seven-day concussion DL earlier in the day. McCann was hit in the mask by a pitch on Friday, eventually leaving the game.
For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.
For team prop bets, click here.
For player prop bets, click here.