Star shortstop Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees has further ensured himself of a first-ballot Hall of Fame induction. On August 11, Jeter tied the legendary Hank Aaron's record when he got his 150th hit in his 17th consecutive season. Jeter hit a ground-rule double in the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays to tie the record. In typical Jeter fashion, a run scored on the clutch hit.
Jeter likes to reach his hit milestones in unusual fashion. We see some ground-rule doubles but not very many compared to other doubles, and we very rarely see them in history-making situations such as tying records. For Jeter, though, this does not surprise me. After all, last season, he hit a home run for his 3000th career hit to become only the second player ever to do so.
Jeter began his streak of 150+ hits in 1996 when he hit safely 183 times. His streak includes seven seasons of more than 200 hits with a high of 219 in 1999. These numbers alone will put him in the Hall of Fame. Add in seven World Series appearances and five championships along with the all-time Yankees' hit record, and this record with Aaron further ensures Jeter a first-ballot induction. Unfortunately, we will have to wait another season to see if he can break the record.
Jeter's record-tying hit is also the 3238th of his career, which ranks him 13th all-time. He needs only five more to surpass Nap Lajoie's 3242 and take 12th place. He could do this within the next few days. With 46 more hits, Jeter can pass Willie Mays and crack the top ten with 3284. The Yankees have 49 regular-season games remaining in 2012. Jeter would have to average almost one hit per game. He may need days off to stay fresh for the postseason, which would make the feat much more difficult. He could possibly DH more as he did when he tied Aaron's record. Getting 46 hits in 49 games is a long shot, but if anyone can do it, Jeter can.
Whether or not Derek Jeter gets his 18th consecutive season of 150+ hits next year, he will make it into the top ten in all-time hits and possibly the top five. His first-ballot induction should be automatic. He has already put himself in elite company in many categories. One day, we will put future players' names in elite company with Derek Jeter.
Baseball Almanac, Career Leaders for Hits, baseball-almanac.com as of August 11, 2012.
Chris Toman, With Ground-Rule Double, Jeter Ties Aaron's Hit Record, yankees.mlb.com, August 11, 2012.
YES Network Broadcast, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, August 11, 2012.
Raymond was born in Connecticut into a family spilt between the Red Sox and Yankees. Although he grew up in Florida, Raymond became a Yankees fan. He played baseball through high school and soon after became a varsity coach. Raymond previously produced radio sports talk shows and hosted a weekly MLB radio call-in show. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau
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