Derek Jeter made history Thursday night as he connected on career hit number 3,184, putting him in a tie for 13th place all-time with Cal Ripken Jr. The moment had to be somewhat bittersweet for Jeter, who acknowledges Ripken as one of his childhood heroes.
With Jeter likely to take sole possession of 13th place in the next few days, the question then becomes, how far up the list can he climb?
Let’s take a look at the MLB all-time hit leaders:
1. Pete Rose – 4,256
2. Ty Cobb – 4,189
3. Hank Aaron – 3,771
4. Stan Musial – 3,630
5. Tris Speaker – 3,514
6. Carl Yastrzemski – 3,419
7. Honus Wagner – 3,415
8. Paul Molitor – 3,319
9. Eddie Collins – 3,315
10. Willie Mays – 3,283
11. Eddie Murray – 3,255
12. Nap Lajoie – 3,242
13. Derek Jeter – 3,184
If we do the math, Jeter is 1,072 hits away from tying Pete Rose for the all time lead. 1,072 is a good amount of hits for anyone, not to mention a 38 year-old nearing the end of their career.
Jeter is currently under contract for 2013, with an option for 2014.
Now with most 38 year-olds, I would say there’s no way they would get over one thousand more hits in their career. Jeter however, is not your normal 38 year-old.
All of that being said, lets break down a scenario for Jeter to break Rose’s all-time hit record.
The most hits Jeter has ever had in one season is 219 (1999), and most every season he flirts with 200. He’s currently on pace to be right there again, so he’ll likely be around 3,300 hits going into 2013. This would mean that Jeter would have maintain his currently level of performance for another 5 full seasons…
I’m a Jeter fan, and he’s one of the best to ever play the game, but I just don’t see him breaking the record. It would probably take him six full seasons to do it, and six years from now he will be 44, and not getting as much playing time.
I’m not saying Jeter can’t do it, I just don’t think he will. If I had to bet on it, I would bet against it. Just being realistic, Pete Rose will likely remain baseball’s all-time hit King.