Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees is greeted by his teammates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning for career hit 3000 while playing against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on July 9, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
On Saturday, the Yankees' Derek Jeter got his 3000th major league hit, a home run to left field in the third inning, off David Price of the Rays. Unless you've been hiding under the proverbial rock for the last month, you know that he is the first Yankee to accomplish this feat.
But how does Jeter's milestone hit stack up against the other 27 players to have 3,000 or more hits?
First, we are going to eliminate one player from this discussion: the very first 3,000-hit man, Adrian "Cap" Anson. We do this because there is no complete agreement on exactly how many hits Anson has. Baseball-reference says 3,435, but MLB.com says 3,011, not counting Anson's time in the primordial National Association, the predecessor to the National League. Then there's the oddity of walks being counted as hits in 1887, which are listed in his page at the Hall of Fame website with a total of 3,081, but that doesn't include NA time, either. So there's no way we can definitively say when Anson got his "3,000th hit".
That said, the other 26 3,000th hits prior to Jeter's stack up this way:
Home runs: 1
The only previous home run for a 3,000th hit was done by Wade Boggs, one of least likely members of the club to hit one. Boggs hit just 118 home runs in his career, and as it turned out, it was the final home run of his career, which ended less than a month after he registered his 3,000th hit.
The triple belongs to Paul Molitor, who hit it on September 16, 1996 at Kansas City. He needed three hits that day to get to 3,000, and got them. It was not his final at-bat of the day; he batted in the ninth and hit a sacrifice fly. Molitor played two more years and wound up with 3,319 hits; if not for various injuries and time lost to labor stoppages, he might have had 350 to 400 more hits and might rank as high as fourth on the all-time list.
Jeter is among 16 of the 27 (sans Anson) to get his milestone hit in his home park in front of adoring fans. Here are the splits:
Home: Nap Lajoie, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Paul Waner, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Lou Brock, Carl Yastrzemski, Pete Rose, Rod Carew, Robin Yount, Dave Winfield, Wade Boggs, Rickey Henderson, Craig Biggio
Road: Honus Wagner, Eddie Collins, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, George Brett, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Rafael Palmeiro
The stadium that's hosted the most 3,000th hits is the Metrodome in Minneapolis, which has seen three -- two by visitors, Ripken and Murray, and one by Winfield, then a Twin. Winfield's came in the ninth inning of a game on September 16, 1993; it helped a rally that tied the game, which the Twins eventually won in the 13th inning. It was his second hit of the game; others who needed multiple hits in one game to get to 3,000 were Gwynn and Brett, both of whom had four-hit games to reach 3,000. Brett, famously, got picked off by Tim Fortugno after his 3,000th hit, a single.
Other bits of trivia regarding the 3,000 hit landmark:
- Jeter is the fourth-youngest player to reach 3,000 hits. Cobb, Aaron and Yount were younger.
- Jeter's 3,000th is the third that was registered in the month of July (Mays and Palmeiro were the others). The most common month to accomplish this feat: September. Eight 3,000th hits were recorded in September (and one, Henderson's, in October).
- Lou Brock's 3,000th hit was off the Cubs' Dennis Lamp -- literally. In the fourth inning on on August 13, 1979, Brock got his second hit of the game, number 3,000, a line drive off Lamp's shoulder. Lamp had to leave the game and the Cardinals won 3-2.
- After Craig Biggio got his 3,000th hit, a single, he couldn't even stand on base to get the adulation of his home fans. Why? Because he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
- Rod Carew missed out on some attention the day he got his 3,000th hit, August 4, 1985... because on the same day, Tom Seaver got his 300th win for the White Sox against the Yankees.
- Between 1925, when Speaker and Collins both registered their 3,000th hits, and 1958, when Musial collected his at Chicago's Wrigley Field, only one hitter -- Paul Waner -- got to the 3,000 mark, over a period of 33 years. It would be 12 more years before the next pair, Mays and Aaron, and then between 1970 and 1979, seven players got to 3,000. Only one player got there in the 1980s, but seven more would reach it in the 1990s.
- Tied for second behind the Metrodome as the site of a 3,000th hit: Anaheim, Detroit and Cleveland, with two each. The other major league cities to host a 3,000th hit are Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Montreal, Tampa, San Diego, Seattle and Houston.
But until Saturday, the nation's largest city, New York, had never hosted one nor had one of its own register one. Congratulations to Derek Jeter on reaching this significant career achievement.