Shortstop Derek Jeter has played for the New York Yankees since 1995 and has already amassed numbers that put him into a special category in the history of Major League Baseball. On Friday night, Derek Jeter will face the Baltimore Orioles in search of his 2,500th career hit.
Does getting his 2,500th hit ensure that Derek Jeter will make the MLB Hall of Fame? Do his intangibles, clutch play, and leadership make up for his low power and run-producing numbers? In essence, what does Derek Jeter need to do in the rest of his illustrious career that will earn him a spot in Cooperstown?
Derek Jeter is a four-time World Series Champion, nine-time AL All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, the 1996 Rookie of the Year, two-time Silver Slugger winner, the 2006 Hank Aaron Award winner, and the only man in the history of the MLB to win the All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP in the same year (2000).
Jeter currently sits third on the all-time Yankees' hits list with 2,499 behind on Yankee legends Babe Ruth (2,518) and Lou Gehrig (2,721). No Yankee player has hit the magic 3,000 number while wearing only a Yankee uniform, and many believe that Derek could be the first.
He also has more postseason hits than anyone else in the history of baseball, with almost 100, along with batting just under .500 in all of the All-Star Games that he has appeared in.
Last Wednesday, Jeter made another mark on baseball's record books when he hit his 203rd career home run, moving past Hall of Famer Bill Dickey and into a tie with Roger Maris for 11th place on the Yankees' all-time home-run list.
Jeter is also nearing the record for the most hits in Yankee Stadium, as he has collected 1,252 hits in the Bronx, and is just 17 away from Lou Gehrig's mark.
Since he entered the league, Derek Jeter has played baseball the way it should be played. He does any and everything he can to win the game, no matter what his statistics are at the end of the game. Red Sox fans hate him because they wish he could have been drafted in Boston and not in New York.
"Mr. November," as Derek Jeter has been so nicknamed, seems to be well on his way towards the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. After a few more years, he may even have his No. 2 jersey retired and get a plaque in Monument Park. If Derek Jeter does receive all of those wonderful accolades, it would be well worth it.
Who knows what would have happened to the Yankees if he did not arrive from Kalamazoo, MI to lead the Yankees back to greatness.