Derek Jeter Gets Hit 3000

I am, in order:

  1. A Baseball fan

  2. A Boston Red Sox fan

  3. A Los Angeles Dodgers fan

And true to Number One I have to give a very large portion of respect to Derek Jeter for reaching the 3,000 career hits milestone. With that historic home run, Jeter joined an elite club. It isn’t as elite as the Pitchers With a Perfect Game Club1 but it’s very close. And, perhaps more importantly, it is a good indicator of a player’s chances of entering the Hall of Fame.

Some interesting notes about the 3K Club:

  • Twenty-eight players have 3,000 or more hits.

  • Roberto Clemente has exactly 3,000 hits. His last hit also came at his last at bat.

  • There are four players with 3,000 hits that are not in the hall of fame. Derek Jeter is still active. Craig Biggio will not be eligible until 2013. Rafael Palmeiro is the only ‘eligible’ player not in the HoF2. Pete Rose, although the all-time hits leader with 4,256, was been declared ‘permanently ineligible’ for the HoF after admitting to gambling on baseball.

  • The 3K Club reads like a Who’s Who of baseball history. Among the members: Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Honus Wagner, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie Mays, Cal Ripken.

  • Only two players have more than 4,000 hits: Pete Rose and Ty Cobb (4,189). Pete Rose also has the most at bats, with 14,053.

  • Babe Ruth is not in the 3K Club. He had 2,873. Derek Jeter is the first active Yankee player to hit 3,000.

How exclusive is the 3K Club? For comparison:

  • Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin have more Saturday Night Live hosting appearances between the two of them (fifteen each) than there are players with 3,000 hits.

  • One player stealing second, third, and home in a single inning has happened forty-nine times.

  • Forty-one players hit home runs on their last at bat in the Major Leagues.

  • Forty-seven times a batter has struck out four times pitcher has thrown four strikeouts in one inning.

Jeter’s accomplishment is a testament to his longevity, dedication to the game and, of course, talent. By all accounts he’s a respectful student of the game. Jeter, despite my opinion of him as a Yankee, is a great ball-player and deserves the respect he has earned.

NOTE: All of these stats are from Baseball Reference.

UPDATE: The four strikeouts in one inning stat threw me. I initially thought that it was four strikeouts by a batter in one inning. Not an impossible feat, but extremely unlikely. For that to happen the team would have to go through the lineup four times. The batter in question would have to strikeout all four times he came up, meaning one of his first three strikeouts would have to be a dropped third strike by the batter with first base open. And the batter would have to beat out any throw to first. Thus that batter would have struck out four times in that inning. BUT, that's not what the stat is. It's four strikeouts by the pitcher. He makes three strikeouts. The catcher drops one of the third strike pitches and let's the batter reach first. Then the pitcher throws another strikeout. That makes a lot more sense. For the batter to do it would be unbelievably unlikely. For it to happen to the batter forty-seven times is virtually impossible.

  1. My favorite stat, the Perfect Game, has been accomplished by only twenty Major League pitchers. My second-favorite, the unassisted triple-play has happened only twelve times. ↩

  2. And he likely will not be inducted. He can thank steroids for that.  ↩