With Derek Jeter's final Opening Day game—an April 1 matchup against the Houston Astros—quickly approaching, the New York Yankees captain is just four hits away from passing Hall of Famer Paul Molitor for eighth place on MLB's all-time leader board in that category.
Currently sitting at 3,316 hits for his career, the 39-year-old Jeter announced last month that his 20th major league season will be his last. The 13-time All-Star is already in elite company thanks to eight 200-plus-hit seasons, the last of which came in 2012 when he notched 216 base knocks. It was the second-highest total of his career.
A broken ankle, suffered in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS, delayed Jeter's return last year until July, and he was forced back onto the shelf after just one game due to a quad injury. He returned later in the month but made it through just four games before a calf issue sprung up. Renewed ankle discomfort in September ultimately ended his season after a mere 63 at-bats.
The Yankees are taking measures to lighten Jeter's workload this spring in the hope that he can stay healthy and anchor a revamped lineup. Another 200-plus-hit season from Jeter in 2014 would push him past Molitor, Carl Yastrzemski, Honus Wagner and Tris Speaker—all of whom are enshrined in Cooperstown—into fifth place on the all-time hit leaderboard.
Either way, there's no doubt Jeter will be joining those legends in the Hall of Fame come 2020, regardless of how many hits he collects during his final season.