Derek Jeter: What Are the Yankees Going to Do With Him?

Derek Jeter is my favorite player -- that is, my family's favorite player. I have played the 3,000th-hit homer over and over. It is my favorite baseball moment of the new century, with the possible exception of Johnny Damon's race to third base in the World Series against the Phillies. Now, let's move on. First of all, let's dispense with the hyperbole.

Reggie Jackson, who is the biggest gasbag in baseball -- in other words, the perfect guy for Mike Lupica to go to for a quote -- said yesterday, "What does 3,000 mean to me? It doesn't just mean that you have talent. It means that you have character, here or anywhere else." Right. So much character that the top two all-time leaders in hits are Pete Rose and Ty Cobb, two bastions of character. Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, and Joe DiMaggio, who never reached 3,000, must therefore be lacking.

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Derek Jeter Hitting 3,000: the Scene from Yankee Stadium (VIDEO)

Derek Jeter at Bat.jpg
Steven Thrasher
Derek Jeter just before hitting his 3,000th career hit
We don't go to Yankee Stadium very often, but when we do, we happen to take in really amazing games completely by accident. (Case in point: the first of the four Yankee games we've seen in person in the past decade was Game Four of the 2001 World Series. Due to 9/11, it was the first Major League Baseball game ever played in November, and ended with Derek Jeter hitting a home run that won the game in the bottom of the tenth inning.)

So it was pretty amazing to get to witness Jeter today go five for five at bat -- a pretty remarkable feat for any player in any game -- and oh, at the same time, pull off career hits 2,999; 3,000(!); 3,001; 3,002; and 3,003.

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