Derek Jeter's fielding range yielded its 3,000th hit last night on weak ground ball up the middle in the 5th inning. Jeter went to his left to field a ball that almost all of his contemporaries would have gotten to, but the grounder got past his glove by several feet for a single and history was made.
"I thought I made a good pitch and that it should have been a routine out. You never want to be on the mound for a 3,000th hit," said Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, who overcame the hit to put up a scoreless inning. "But I don't mind being part of this. I really hope Derek gets his due recognition for this remarkable record. He deserves it."
During the early stages of Jeter's career, most couldn't have conceived of his range one day allowing 3,000 hits. But the Yankee captain's pursuit of the mark has really taken off in the past few years, as he has racked up several 300-hit seasons in his mid-to-late 30s.
In his usual way, Jeter deflected talk of the individual record.
"It's not something I want to talk about," he said. "I mean, at all. The attention is embarrassing. Really embarrassing. I'm just glad we got the win. Please, can we never speak of this again?"
Considering Jeter's rapidly diminishing skills, his unwillingness to move from shortstop and a huge contract that will keep him in pinstripes through the 2013 season, many expect his range will allow 4,000 hits before his career ends.
"I guess the only thing that can stop him is injuries," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. "We'll just all hope for lots and lots of injuries."