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Posts Tagged ‘Lou Gehrig’

Derek Jeter-HannahDavis

AP Photo/Kyodo News, Suo Takekuma

  • Not everyone in Japan knows who Derek Jeter is. Some think he’s a catcher. Others have no idea who he is. That must be refreshing for him.
  • John Sterling unfortunately lost everything in an apartment fire. He lost all of his World Series rings in the blaze, except for 2009 (which he was wearing). Alex Rodriguez even offered him a place to stay.
  • Hannaah Davis landed the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Swimsuit Issue. I met her at the “Swim City” event in Manhattan and I got a chance to meet her. She was absolutely beautiful. I even asked her to take a selfie with me and she gladly did. She’s got my approval (not that she needs it).
  • Joe Torre wants everyone to keep quiet about A-Rod and let him play. Mr. T stated, “Obviously, what Alex did was wrong. He admits that. There’s nothing left for him to do but play baseball.”
Hannah Davis - Derek Jeter's Girlfriend

Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Derek Jeter - Hideki Matsui

Source: Chris McGrath/Getty Images AsiaPac

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Brian Cashman recently told Mike Lupica on ESPN Radio that “the captaincy should be retired with number two.”

No more captains for the Yankees? Please. I love Derek Jeter as much as the next guy, but enough is enough. Yes, that’s right…I said it. Derek Jeter is a mortal being…just like Lou Gehrig and Thurman Munson before him. There’s nothing that make Derek any more special or deserving than those two, so I don’t see why the New York Yankees shouldn’t have another captain.

Keith Olbermann has called Cashman’s comments  as the “dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

After Lou Gehrig passed away from ALS (now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Yankees manager Joe McCarthy stated that the club would never have another Yankees captain. Years went by and the organization didn’t have a captain. In 1976 that changed, as George Steinbrenner appointed Thurman Munson to be captain. Just three years later (1979), Thurman died in a tragic plane crash, leaving the Yankees captainless. Nettles, Randolph, Guidry, and Mattingly followed him. What I’m trying to say here is…nobody is bigger than the interlocking NY on their chest.

George Steinbrenner once said:

“I have always been very, very careful about giving such a responsibility (Captain of the New York Yankees) to one of my players, but I can not think of a single player that I have ever had who is more deserving of this honor than Derek Jeter. He is a young man of great character and has shown great leadership qualities. He believes, as I do, what General (Douglas) MacArthur said, that ‘there is no substitute for victory.’ To him, and to me, it’s second only to breathing.”

I don’t believe they need to appoint a new captain right away, but when the right person comes along I don’t see anything wrong with giving that rank to a deserving player. I think you can safely bet that the Yankees will find somebody to be named captain in future years. And if you like to bet like me, you should check out: www.SportsBettingInfo.comLife goes on, and so do the Yankees.

 

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Bronx Bombers: A New American Play

Illustration By: Mark Ulriksen

That’s right. The New York Yankees have hit the Broadway stage. The show comes from the same creators of Broadway’s “Lombardi.” The story centers around Yogi Berra and his wife Carmen, as they take you through the New York Yankees storied history. Legendary players such as Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, Gehrig, and Jeter are portrayed on the stage. I’d bet this would be a real treat for any Yankees fan to attend, both young and old.

**If you’re interested in attending a show, visit: BronxBombersPlay.com or call: 212-239-6200 / 800-432-7250. Box Office Information: Hours: Mon: 10 – 6, Tues – Sat: 10 – 8, Circle in the Square Theatre, West 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue.**

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The 2014 NHL Coors Light Stadium Series is coming up at the end of the month, and it looks like Henrik Lundqvist will be making a new fashion statement. On the right side of his new mask, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig are pictured. It’s only fitting because the two games will take place at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. It looks as if Henrik’s custom crown logo (from the Crown Collection) will be on the front of the mask.

Update: 7:00PM ET: Here is a full shot of the complete mask in all it’s glory:

The Henrik Lundqvist Blog also pointed out some interesting pinstriped goalie pads (made by Bauer) that he might be using in the upcoming series. This isn’t set in stone, but these could be the pads he wears:

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On August 2nd, 1979, Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash which rocked the baseball world. He was one of the most beloved and respected players to ever don the pinstripe uniform. Munson was the first team captain since Lou Gehrig and was considered the driving force behind those Yankee teams.

Thurman’s plaque in monument park reads: “Our captain and leader has not left us, today, tomorrow, this year, next … Our endeavors will reflect our love and admiration for him.”

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Here’s a great clip from the 1928 film, “Speedy,” featuring George Herman Ruth. I’d like to call myself a movie buff, but I’m ashamed to say I never heard of this film before.

IMDB’s plot summary for the film:

“Speedy” loses his job as a soda-jerk, then spends the day with his girl at Coney Island. He then becomes a cab driver and delivers Babe Ruth to Yankee Stadium, where he stays to see the game. When the railroad tries to run the last horse-drawn trolley (operated by his girl’s grandfather) out of business, “Speedy” organizes the neighborhood oldtimers to thwart their scheme.

If you pay close attention, you can see Lou Gehrig walking as Ruth get sout of the cab.

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With two hits in last night’s game, Derek Jeter now remains 17 hits shy from joining the 3,000 Hits Club. A feat that hasn’t been reached by the likes of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio or Mantle. Derek will be the first New York Yankee to do so.

The club will be on the road for four more days, and will come home for a 10-game home stand, where they will host the Red Sox, Indians and Rangers. New York fans are hoping he will reach the plateau on their home turf in the Bronx.

2,983 hits and counting.

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ESPN New York released their “50 Greatest Yankees” list the other day. I can’t really argue too much with their list, although I probably would have swapped Thurman Munson (#12) and Bill Dickey (#10). Yes, I know Dickey is in the Hall of Fame and Munson isn’t. But it was Munson’s leadership, as much as anything else that returned the Yankees to their winning ways in the ’70s. And who knows what kind of numbers he would have put up if not for the plane crash?

Anyway, here’s their list. I’ve added in the dates they played for the Yanks, along with their position. An asterisk denotes a playing career interrupted by a military commitment; # denotes a Hall-of-Famer. Current players are in red type. Feel free to let us know how you feel about the list!

50. Mike Mussina (RHP, 2001-2008)

49. Bob Meusel (LF, 1920-1930)

48. Albert “Sparky” Lyle (LHP, 1972-1978)

47. Gil McDougald (IF, 1951-1960)

46. Jim “Catfish” Hunter (RHP, 1974-1978)#

45. David Cone (RHP, 1995-2000)

44. Roy White (LF, 1965-1979)

43. Hank Bauer (RF, 1948-1959)

42. Jack Chesbro (RHP, 1903-1909)#

41. Eddie Lopat (RHP, 1948-1955)

40. Rickey Henderson (1985-1989)#

39. Vic Raschi (RHP, 1946-1953)

38. Joe Gordon (2B, 1938-1946)*#

37. Tommy Henrich (RF, 1937-1950)*

36. Charlie “King Kong” Keller (LF, 1939-1949)*

35. Bobby Murcer (CF, 1969-1974, 1979-1983)

34. Spurgeon “Spud” Chandler (RHP, 1937-1947)

33. Willie Randolph (2B, 1976-1988)

32. Waite Hoyt (RHP, 1921-1929)#

31. Mel Stottlemyre (RHP, 1964-1974)

30. Paul O’Neill (RF, 1993-2001)

29. Graig Nettles (3B, 1973-1983)

28. Dave Winfield (OF, 1981-1990)#

27. Herb Pennock (LHP, 1923-1933)#

26. Allie “Superchief” Reynolds (RHP, 1947-1954)

25. Rich “Goose” Gossage (RHP, 1978-1983, 1989)#

24. Elston Howard (C, 1955-1967)

23. Earle Combs (CF, 1924-1935)#

22. Roger Maris (RF, 1960-1966)

21. Jorge Posada (C, 1995-present)

20. Phil Rizzuto (SS, 1941-1956)*#

19. Bernie Williams (CF, 1991-2006)

18. “Poosh ‘Em Up” Tony Lazzeri (2B, 1926-1937)#

17. Ron “Gator” Guidry (LHP, 1975-1988)

16. Andy Pettitte (LHP, 1995-2003, 2007-2010)

15. Reggie Jackson (RF, 1977-1981)#

14. Vernon “Lefty” Gomez (LHP, 1930-1942)#

13. Alex Rodriguez (3B, 2004-present)

12. Thurman Muson (C, 1969-1979)

11. Don Mattingly (1B, 1982-1995)

10. Bill Dickey (C, 1928-1946)#

9. Charles “Red” Ruffing (RHP, 1930-1942)#

8. Edward “Whitey” Ford (LHP, 1953-1967)*#

7. Derek Jeter (SS, 1995-present)

6. Lawrence “Yogi” Berra (C, 1946-1963)#

5. Mariano Rivera (RHP, 1995-present)

4. Mickey Mantle (CF, 1950-1968)#

3. “Joltin” Joe DiMaggio (CF, 1936-1951)*#

2. Lou “Iron Horse” Gehrig (1B, 1923-1939)#

1. George “Babe” Ruth (RF, 1920-1934)#

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Andy speaks to reporters / Courtesy NY Times

For some reason, a large number of Yankee fans were surprised by the news that Andy Pettitte decided to call it a career. Mr. Mailbag’s inbox is overflowing with questions; I figured this is as good a time to answer them as any.

Dr. Mr. Mailbag,

Since Andy isn’t returning this year, does this mean the Yankees season is doomed?

Sincerely, Afraid

Well, afraid…in a word, no. Even if everything stands pat, the current rotation isn’t as bad as everyone seems to think. The line-up should be actually be better than last year’s. Boston did improve their team, but Tampa Bay is much worse. And if we’ve learned one thing about the Yankees in the Steinbrenner era, the Yankees won’t stand pat if the team needs something come mid-season. Barring a sudden surge by a surprise team, the Yankees should wind up in the playoffs in 2011.

Mr. Mailbag:

How can I live without Andy? The Yankees just won’t be the same without him!

-Crying in my pillow

Well, Crying, you’re not alone. I’ve seen a lot of these in the last 24 hours. I understand that to a certain generation of Yankees fans – pretty much those under the age of 30 – Andy is the starting pitcher of record. But you should understand that what makes the Yankees the most successful franchise in sports history is the way this team replaces great players with other great players. If you’re of the current generation, you probably find it hard to understand how fans of my generation can hold such high regard for Thurman Munson or Chris Chambliss. (To me, Chambliss’ homer in the ’76 ALCS is still the most thrilling Pinstripe moment I’ve ever witnessed). For fans of my father’s generation, it was Mickey Mantle. And on through time it goes, back for 90 years, to the time of the Babe and Lou. There’s a crop of talented players making their way up from the minors now; guys named Betances, Banuelos, Brackman, Montero, and a whole bunch more. Andy Pettitte can’t necessarily be replaced anymore than Munson could. But other great players will come along who will carve out their own dynasties. It’s the Yankee way.

Dear Mr. Mailbag,

How many ballots will it take for Andy Pettitte to get into the Hall of Fame? If it takes more than one, It’s a damn shame!

-A Yankee in Texas

Well, Texas… I hate to break it to you, but Andy probably isn’t getting into the Hall of Fame. He has a borderline case: in his favor, he did finish his career 102 games over .500; right now, only one other pitcher with a similar number isn’t enshrined (oddly, former teammate Mike Mussina). But when compared to the other pitchers of his era; well, his numbers don’t particularly stack up well. His career ERA is higher than that of non-HOF candidates like Kevin Brown, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, and Al Leiter. If anything, Andy should root really, really hard for Mike Mussina to get a HOF nod – because their final career numbers are eerily similar. In fact, Mussina’s are better than Pettitte’s (higer ERA+, more strikeouts, wins, complete games, higher winning percentage and lower OPS allowed), so you can bet if Mussina doesn’t get in, Pettitte won’t. Plus, Pettitte has the whole PED’s issue hanging over his career. I don’t think in the grand scheme of things it will make a huge difference, but if he’s close and that negatively influences a couple of voters…well, you get the idea.

Dear Mr. Mailbag,

When are the Yankees going to retire #46?

-A Huge Andy Fan

Um, Probably never. Was Andy an important cog in the past 5 championships? Yes. Does that mean he’ll get his number retired? No. Consider how many players from the 90’s dynasty have their numbers hanging on the outfield wall. Bernie Williams? Tino Martinez? David Cone? Paul O’Neill? Each was as integral to those championships as Pettitte; each as beloved in the Bronx as Andy – and none has their number retired. I strongly suspect that unless a player winds up in the Hall of Fame, their number will remain in circulation.

Mr. Mailbag,

Why did Andy Pettitte retire? The Yankees need him!

-Alarmed in the Bronx

Well, alarmed, as Andy said this morning, his heart just isn’t in it anymore. If you’ve watched Andy pitch over the past 5 years, then you know he’s gotten by mostly on heart. His once overpowering cut fastball doesn’t have the life it once did and neither do his secondary pitches. Perhaps more importantly for an athlete his age, he doesn’t have the drive to overcome injury – and a 38 year old pitcher is likely to step out on the mound with a nagging injury as not. Given his current state of mind, he’s making the right decision. Based on physical ability, he’s probably still better than Sergio Mitre. But without that competitive fire, Andy Pettitte would finish his career reminding Yankee fans why we hated Kevin Brown.

That’s it for now. These are representative of the most common questions I’ve seen. Somehow, I’m sure there will be more over the weekend, so stay tuned! Oh, and if you have one, feel free to shoot it out to me at Twitter or Facebook!


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Part 2 of 2

Yesterday, I went in depth into comparing Derek Jeter‘s value, based solely on performance. But as discussed, Jeter’s true value to the Yankees doesn’t end with his performance; it only begins there. I noted how even Yankee GM Brian Cashman has favorably compared Jeter to Lou Gehrig. Just to muck up the water some more, both Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have alluded to Jeter’s iconic status during these contract negotiations.

Based on yesterday’s statistical analysis of how much a player of Jeter’s ability can honestly expect to receive, I came to the conclusion that on the open market Jeter should anticipate an annual contract value between $12 and $12.6 million; but if paid on the scale that the Yankees have traditionally paid players of his ability, then he could expect an annual contract worth $17.7 million. Based on those numbers, the Yankees reported $45 million, 3 year offer is reasonable and a good point for beginning negotiations. The main point of contention is how much is that Derek Jeter/New York Yankees relationship worth to each side?

Unfortunately, we don’t really have a great way to statistically analyze that number. The Yankees are not a public corporation, so we can’t peer into their financials to see how much Jeter has meant to the team in strictly a dollars and cents way – nor do we have access to their revenue projections, and you can bet that Derek Jeter merchandising and PR is part of those numbers. But we can take an educated guess at how much value the Yankees have placed on the relationship in the past.

For starters, look at what we do know about the team’s finances and how they’ve paid Jeter over his career. The last year before Jeter joined the Yankees, they drew 1.7 million fans into Yankee Stadium, good for 7th in the American League. Team payroll in 1995 was $11,623,500 and the franchise’s net worth was around $580 million. In Jeter’s first year, 2,250,877 people filed into Yankee Stadium (still only 7th in attendance, though) and the franchise value was around $600 million. Fast forward to 2010: the team’s attendance last year was 3,765,807 (the top draw in baseball for the 7th time in the past 8 seasons). In fact, over the past ten seasons, the Yankees have drawn 3.5 million more fans than the next closest team, the Dodgers. Forbes reports that the Yankees franchise was worth around $1.6 billion at the beginning of the season and recognized a 7% increase in value from 2009. In a nutshell, Jeter’s Yankees have tripled in value, along with annual attendance figures. Before Jeter, the Yankees were a middling team in terms of payroll, franchise value and attendance. They were also perennial cellar-dwellers in the standings, with only two winning seasons in the previous 7. Since his arrival, the Yankees have dominated baseball financially the same way as the dynasty teams of the 40’s and 50’s – and have turned into perennial pennant contenders. (It should be noted that the Yankees threw that monetary weight around back then, too – the current era is not the only one when the team is accused of “buying championships.”)

It is an undeniable fact that the partnership of Jeter and the Yankees has worked out well for both teams. The question remains, though, how much of the teams financial success is directly attributable to number 2? We don’t have a way to measure that, per se, although there are sabermatricians out there working on developing models. We can, though, get an idea on how much the Yankees value Jeter’s contributions to the overall financial well-being of the franchise. How? By comparing Jeter’s last contract with those of his peers from that time.

Yesterday, I charted player’s salaries vs. their WAR over the past 5 seasons to determine Jeter’s present value, based on performance. The same can be done for when Jeter signed his last contract, in 2000:

1996-2001

2001

Amount overpaid

Rk Player

WAR/pos

$/WAR

1 Alex Rodriguez

37.8

$ 2,910,052.91 $ 1,250,254.33
2 Jeff Bagwell

36.3

$ 895,316.80 $ (764,481.77)
3 Mike Piazza

31.1

$ 2,181,901.77 $ 522,103.19
4 Chipper Jones

30.0

$ 1,722,222.17 $ 62,423.59
5 Ivan Rodriguez

29.4

$ 1,394,557.82 $ (265,240.75)
6 Mark McGwire

28.6

$ 1,923,076.92 $ 263,278.35
7 Craig Biggio

28.0

$ 1,383,928.57 $ (275,870.00)
8 Derek Jeter

27.4

$ 2,299,270.07 $ 639,471.50
9 Nomar Garciaparra

27.0

$ 1,342,592.59 $ (317,205.98)
10 Roberto Alomar

24.9

$ 1,556,224.90 $ (103,573.68)
11 John Olerud

24.0

$ 1,395,833.33 $ (263,965.24)
12 Barry Larkin

23.8

$ 1,890,756.30 $ 230,957.73
13 Jim Thome

23.6

$ 1,668,432.20 $ 8,633.63
14 Jeff Kent

23.3

$ 1,287,553.65 $ (372,244.93)
15 Jeff Cirillo

23.2

$ 1,045,258.62 $ (614,539.96)

Chart 1: MLB Top 15 players 1996-2000

Jeter was, when compared to his peers a decade ago, paid a $639,471 “bonus” vs. the MLB average in WAR dollars. Let’s assume that Jeter is, in terms of being a commodity, worth a similar amount today and factor in inflation – the $639,471 2001 dollars would be equal to $663,898, using the US Government’s inflation calculator.

So, by adding his value in terms of performance and what both player and team agreed to as his marketing and PR value a decade ago, you arrive at this:

Derek Jeter’s 2011 contract should be between $12.6 million and $18.3 million.

Well, there you have it. Let us know what you think!

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Part 1 of 2


The principle topic of discussion in Yankeeland for the past week has been, how much should Derek Jeter make on his next contract? The debate has raged on since Sunday, when details began leaking of the Yankees $45 million, 3 year offer and Casey Close’s “bafflement.” Yesterday, I saw a bunch of tweets about Jeter asking for 6 years and $150 million. I don’t know where those rumors started, but I also saw a bunch from Close stating those figures were “rubbish.” I’m also hearing that the $15 million average salary offered to Jeter represents a number perhaps twice his true market value, which sounds like so much rubbish to me. But before I start tossing around opinions, I thought I would do a little research into the matter.

The central questions to all of this tug-and-pull remains what, exactly, is Jeter’s worth to the open market and what is his worth to the Yankees? I think pretty much everyone with a little common sense understands that Jeter is for more valuable to the Yankees than to any other team and for the Yankees to pay him based strictly on what he is worth to, say, the Giants is ridiculous. And Jeter would be just as ridiculous to expect the same type of money from the Giants as he would from the Yankees. Harvey Araton of the NY Times has a good article today in which none other than Brian Cashman compares Jeter to Lou Gehrig. Like Gehrig, Jeter is a for more valuable commodity to the Yankees than to any other team.

So what is Jeter’s worth?

To start, I looked at what a typical major league team pays for players of Jeter’s caliber. By using WAR, we can determine how much a player is paid based on how many wins he is better than a typical replacement:

2011

2011

Rk Player

WAR

Salary

$/WAR

1 Albert Pujols

42.6

$ 16,000,000.00 $ 1,877,934.27
2 Joe Mauer

33.8

$ 23,000,000.00 $ 3,402,366.86
3 Chase Utley

30.8

$ 15,000,000.00 $ 2,435,064.94
4 Hanley Ramirez

29.1

$ 11,000,000.00 $ 1,890,034.36
5 Alex Rodriguez

26.3

$ 31,000,000.00 $ 5,893,536.12
6 Mark Teixeira

26.2

$ 22,500,000.00 $ 4,293,893.13
7 Miguel Cabrera

24.9

$ 20,000,000.00 $ 4,016,064.26
8 David Wright

24.8

$ 14,000,000.00 $ 2,822,580.65
9 Chipper Jones

24.1

$ 13,000,000.00 $ 2,697,095.44
10 Kevin Youkilis

23.2

$ 12,000,000.00 $ 2,586,206.90
11 Adrian Gonzalez

22.9

$ 5,500,000.00 $ 1,200,873.36
12 Robinson Cano

22.1

$ 10,000,000.00 $ 2,262,443.44
13 Derek Jeter

21.4

$ –
14 Justin Morneau

19.8

$ 14,000,000.00 $ 3,535,353.54
15 Jose Reyes

19.4

$ 11,000,000.00 $ 2,835,051.55
ML Average –> $ 2,945,945.95

First up, Derek Jeter is the 13th most productive player in all of MLB since 2006. I think that lost in all of the acrimony and discussion of how bad Jeter was last year is that simple fact – only 12 players in MLB have been more productive than Derek Jeter. That’s pretty amazing, if you consider that more than 600 individuals have donned a major league uniform over that time. (I went back 5 seasons, so as to get a representative sample). You’ll also notice that even with some horrendously underpaid performers (Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez) in the top 15, the average compensation per win in 2011 is nearly $3 million. Using that figure as a yardstick, fair compensation for Jeter – based solely on performance – would be his WAR dollar value of $12,608,648.65. If you were to pay him based on WAR dollar value of players at similar ages/careers, then the number drops slightly to $12,096,338.26 – or, to put it another way, teams realize players of Jeter’s age probably won’t continue to produce like they did when they were 30 and the average “age discount” is roughly $510,000. Also, you can see that there are four Yankees in the top fifteen: besides Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano. Their average compensation per win in 2011 is $4,149,976.76 – if Jeter were paid on the Yankee scale, then his value would be $17,761,818.37.

All of a sudden, that $15 million figure offered by Cashman doesn’t represent a number that far from Jeter’s value based on performance. Best case for Cashman, they’re offering Jeter a $3 million bonus. Worst case, the offer represents shortchanging Jeter by about $2.5 million. Based strictly on performance, the two sides probably could come to a pretty quick accommodation. But the principle sticking point in this negotiation is that Jeter is worth far more to the Yankees than to any of the other 31 teams in baseball. Jeter knows it. Cashman knows it. The obvious problem is coming to an agreement on just how much value Jeter represents to the Yankees vs. other teams. Or, to put it in Cashman’s own words, how much this century’s Gehrig is worth to the Yankees.

There really isn’t any way to statistically analyze that number. Since the Yankees are not a public corporation, we don’t have access to their financials, nor do we have access for their revenue projections for the next 5 years. But we can make an educated guess.

And I’ll discuss that tomorrow.

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Derek Jeter has 2,892 career hits, which places him 108 hits from reaching 3,000. The New York Yankees have never had a player crack the 3,000-hit barrier in their uniform. That’s what makes this so special. They’ve had players in the past who reached the milestone (Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson and Wade Boggs), but they weren’t career Yankees, and didn’t wear the pinstripes when they did it. Lou Gehrig was the closest player to 3,000, compiling 2,721 hits over 17 seasons.

When a player enters the 3,000 hit club, it’s thought of as a gauranteed spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The club has 27 members, but only 24 are eligible for the Hall of Fame right now. Pete Rose is ineligible for gambling on baseball games, while Craig Biggio and Rafael Palmeiro have been active within the past five seasons. Palmeiro will become eligible in 2011, while Biggio will have to wait until 2013. With Rafael being linked to steroids, it’s highly unlikely he will get in.

For Derek, it will just be another accolade to add to his résumé. He doesn’t need to break this barrier to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but it’s just one of those very special moments in a player’s career. With only 34 games left in the season, Derek won’t be breaking the record this year.

The watch has already started, but it won’t end until early next season.

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