words // Nick Engvall

If you’re a baseball fan, the potential for Derek Jeter to reach the 3,000 hit mark this season probably has you keeping a close eye on the box score in recent weeks. The New York Yankees shortstop is now just 6 hits away from one of the most elusive numbers in baseball. Unfortunately for Jeter and his fans, a recent calf injury has required the slugger to hang up his signature¬†Jordan shoes, at least temporarily.

Derek Jeter collects hit number 2,994. Image courtesy of Yahoo.Jeter was recently placed on the 15 day disabled list by the Yankees, which will take away any shot that he might have had at reaching the mark on the Yankees current home stand which will finish up with a 3 game series against the Rangers, who knocked the Bronx Bombers from the playoffs last season. There is still some good news for New York baseball fans however. Jeter will likely return to the diamond at the end of the month, and by then the Yankees will be back at home, at least in theory for his return which should be the 28th of June. Should he return the 28th, he’d have three home games against the Milwaukee Brewers to get the 6 hits needed.

To put the record into perspective for fans of the game, only 27 players in the history of Major League Baseball have reached the 3,000 hit milestone. It is largely considered by most, the ultimate measure of hitting ability, because it requires not only the ability to hit well, but also longevity to the play the game at a high level for many years. The current list of players to accomplish 3,000 hits includes names like Pete Rose (4,256), Ty Cobb (4,191), Willie Mays (3,283), Cal Ripken Jr. (3,184), Tony Gwynn (3,141), Roberto Clemente (3,000) and more. Of the 27 players on the list, only Craig Biggio and Rafael Palmeiro are yet to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Ironically, if it takes more than the 3 games, which considering his current .260 average, it will, Jeter and the Yankees will still be in New York, it will just be in the wrong part of town for Yankees fans. The Yanks first series on the following road trip is against their cross town rivals, the New York Mets, which would make the hit that gets him to the 3,000 hit mark a bittersweet accomplishment, heavy on the bitter part for Yankees fans.