My good friend Alessandra was in the Bronx last night to see Derek Jeter get hit # 2,998 but as I told her; I think that 3,000 actually comes to us on Saturday. It’s just a gut feeling.
Jeter is 1 for 2 lifetime against Jeremy Hellickson, who is tonight’s starter. But that doesn’t really matter. The hit will eventually come and Derek Jeter will join the illustrious 3,000 hit club. He’ll be the only active player on the list and he’ll have the best opportunity we’ve seen in a while to climb it for a while before he is stuck in his final resting spot forever.
If we take a step back at what Derek Jeter’s legacy will be beyond the obvious; he’s obviously a generational talent of the sport. There are few of them, especially on the level that Jeter will be when all is said and done.
There is always one great Yankee bridging the gap from one father to his son and on down forever. The chosen one in the Bronx for this generation has been Derek Jeter. He comes from Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, and Don Mattingly before him. There is no sign of who the next great generational Yankee will be. But Derek Jeter was ours.
He burst on the scene in 1996 by hitting .314 and collecting 183 knocks. For crying out loud, I wasn’t even in high school yet. To think that if I was a Jeter fan, and I’m not a guy who has followed his career since day one; but if I was I could have enjoyed this guy from the time I was literally still a kid until the time I was married with my own. Anyone who can even be debatable as being effective to great for that long of a duration in professional sports; let alone in New York, is something other-worldy.
So this weekend when Derek Jeter gets his 3,000th hit in a Yankee uniform with the hot sun blazing in the Bronx, I think all will be as it should be. And he’s still playing shortstop. And he’s been the greatest Yankee of our era and maybe the most successful in terms of winning that has ever existed.
For that, this event deserves everyone who follows the sport’s attention. And recognize that we’ve just seem something once in a lifetime pass us by.