And there it goes, third inning, last night, Yankee Stadium, a solo shot off of David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays. Derek Jeter, already game worn with a dirt smear on his right hip, pushes out of the batter's box, ready for the home run circumnavigation of the diamond. For the New Jersey born shortstop, another milestone.
That's a lot of base hits over his career of 16 years. It is remarkable that he is the FIRST Yankee to pass that milestone. But Jeter's contributions to the team go way beyond the hit production...
- he has played only for the Yankees
- he was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1995
- he has been the team captain since 2003
- he is only player to receive both All Star Game and World Series MVP in the same year
- he has been elected to the All Star team 12 times
- he was awarded the Silver Slugger award 4 times
- he has won the Gold Glove award 5 times
- he is the all time hits leader for shortstops
- he currently has more hits than any ACTIVE player
|Christian Lopez caught #3000 and he GAVE it back!|
Deservedly Hall of Fame bound in the first year of eligibility, Mr. Jeter is the consummate baseball player. He is a credit to himself, his family and to the game. He has been, is and will remain the kind of man and baseball player parents will use as a paradigm. Enough said!!
Now there's another total hits number, 4256. This one belongs to Pete Rose. Nowadays, 30% of fans entering major league baseball stadiums think Rose, Ruth, Cobb and Mantle played at the same time. History compresses time. Along with that time distortion goes the loss of the sense of how good Rose was.
Rather than prattle about Mr. Rose, just Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Rose him and discover the impact he had on the game and just how excellent he was. The damaging issues for Rose came about after he left the game as a player. Betting on baseball was bad, betting against his own team (which he was managing) was worse, and his perjuries were worst! Being unrepentant and arrogant were not useful stances either. But the brash Charlie Hustle is, well, like that.
Consequently, Rose was permanently BANNED from baseball. Later permanent banning was banned (Baseball is odd), so Rose could be theoretically reinstated and thence be eligible for election to the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame...
When a player is vital and felling trees, so to speak, the Hall of Fame is a bad dream. Making it in, makes a player apriori OLD and RETIRED and PAST ANY HOPE of further glory. Sure, getting into the "club" is an honor and glory, BUT, it's not like being alive. In fact, it's death by plaque. However, other than getting plaqued up in Cooperstown, old timer baseball heroes are condemned to languish in their glory years without eternal recognition. So, in a way, getting plaqued is an acme of major proportion. This "honor" is the last of the high peaks in the life of a ball player. And only great players are considered!
So, it is with joy that America must congratulate Mr. Jeter. After all, so far so good with him. No stains on his Wall, yet... Sadly, though, for those who remember Mr. Rose, who played the game from 1963-86, the Bronx Bomber's achievement tugs ever so annoyingly.
Forget the bad. Pete Rose has been out of the game as a player for 25 years. Enough!!!
Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame, imperfections and all. Mr. Baseball, it's time.
E cosi va