Congrats to Derek Jeter on joining the 3000 hit club. That's quite an accomplishment. Yet somehow it seems strange. Love them or hate them, the NY Yankees are the most storied franchise in the history of baseball. As such, they have had many Hall of Fame players over those many years. It seems hard to believe that Jeter is the first one to reach that milestone. A quick look at a few names....
The Mick? 18 seasons and 2415 hits.
Yogi? 19 and 2150.
The Babe? Yeah, he spent a couple years as a pitcher in Boston before somebody figured out his bat was more valuable than his arm, but in the end -- 22 seasons and 2873 hits.
Lou Gehrig? The original Iron Man? He "pipped" Wally in 1925, and went on to play 14 seasons with a career batting average of .340, while never missing a game, before ALS struck him down in 1939. Surely he must have had 3000, right? Nope. 2721. His record of 2130 consecutive games played stood for 56 years, which brings me to....
That hitting streak of Joe Dimaggio, a record that still stands and will likely never be broken. The Yankee Clipper played for 13 seasons. Yes, he missed 3 years while doing a military stint during WWII, and he wound up with 2214 career hits. Even had he played through those years and got 200 per season, which are VERY good years, that still wouldn't have put him over the top.
But there's something else that's even stranger about Jeter's 3000th hit. It happened to be a home run that a fan in the left field bleachers wound up with. What did the guy do with the ball? Gave it back to the club and Jeter, while politely suggesting a couple autographed balls and maybe a turkey in return would make him happy, because he's a nice guy. Other than David G, there's nice guys in NYC? Not sure, but they definitely have at least one gobbler in their midst.
The dude should have taken the ball home, put it in a safety deposit box, told a local sports reporter to contact Jeter, and let him know he could have the ball for, say, $100.000. That's a decent amount of money to most people but chump-change to Jeter. If Jeter refused the initial offer, all the man had to do was wait. Some people have suggested options such as Craig's List, Ebay, a new house, or even Pawn Stars -- please -- but silence would have been best. It was a historic ball, for a historic achievement, that was hit by a certain future Hall of Famer, that plays for the most famous franchise of them all.
They WOULD have called back. Now the price is $150,000 and will go up at the same rate Yankee stadium luxury suites do when the Bosox come to town. Then wait some more.
Chances are, he could have had a suitcase full of money that same day delivered to his door. Of course, he would have paid taxes on all that cash, like every good-hearted New Yorker does, but I'm thinking his net gain could have bought a whole lot of turkeys.
That was pretty dumb. Nobody from Brooklyn or the Bronx is that naive. Dude must have been from Queens. Maybe even Joisey..