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August 17, 2009

Is Derek Jeter Good?

When shortstops set milestones they somehow get overlooked.

In June, Miguel Tejada became the 29th shortstop to notch 2000 career hits.

Two weeks later, Rangers shortstop Omar Vizquel (a surefire Hall of Famer if you ask me), surpassed Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio to become the all-time hit leader among Valenzuelan players...even though he trails him on "hits by a shortstop" list.

In the past week, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter amassed enough hits to pass up both Aparicio and Vizquel to become the all-time hit leader among shortstops.

Allow me to explain.

Of Vizquel's 2697 hits...2669 came at shortstop, whereas all but four (2673) of Aparicio's 2677 career base knocks came at shortstop. Coming into Sunday night's game against the Mariners, Jeter had 2672 hits as a shorstop.

Clearly, his 3 for 4 evening Sunday put him over the top.

"It was kind of hard to believe," Jeter told reporters following the Bombers 10-3 loss. "I just try to be consistent year in and year out. I think if you're consistent, then good things happen."

To put this achievement into perspective, Cal Ripken Jr. notched 2479 of his 3,184 hits as a shortstop. And similar to Jeter...Ripken did it all for one team.

Which brings me to this, when Jeter gets 34 more hits...he'll pass up Lou Gehrig as the team's all-time hit leader.

So, how good is Jeter?

Wicked good.

He's a ten-time All-Star (missing the game only twice since 1998), carries a .316 career batting average and in 2003, was named New York's team captain...making him only the 11th player to carry that moniker since 1912.

Not too shabby.

Add to that that his second place finish in the 2006 MVP balloting was the best by a Yankees shortstop since Phil Rizzuto took home the award in 1950 and you've got a legend in the making.

But I didn't have to tell any of you that.

BallHype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

And the fact the man never won an MVP is a shame, but I feel like his heavy ring filled hands make up for it.

JB said...

Easy first ballot. Rings mean more to voters than MVP's. Still, rings or no rings - by the time he is done, first ballot based on #'s alone.