On May 29, 1995, a skinny 21-year-old from Pequannock, N.J., walked up to the plate at The Kingdome to face the Mariners' Rafael Carmona in what was his first major league at-bat.
Fast forward past 16 years, 12 All-Star selections, five World Series championships, five Gold Glove awards, four Silver Slugger awards and 9,603 at-bats, and Derek Jeter is standing in the box at Yankee Stadium with 2,999 career hits facing Tampa Bay's ace David Price.
With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Jeter ripped Price's three-two pitch over the left field fence for a solo home run and his 3,000 career hit—making him only the 28th player in MLB history to reach the 3,000-hit milestone.
Of the 27 players who entered the 3,000-hit club before Jeter, only three aren't enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame: Pete Rose (for obvious reasons, although one can make the argument that he deserves to be in the Hall regardless of his actions), Rafael Palmeiro (who is still pointing at Congress and swearing he never touched steroids) and Craig Biggio (who isn't eligible to be inducted until 2013).
Of course, the matter isn't whether Jeter will end up in the Hall of Fame—because that is a no-brainer; he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The real question is: Where will Jeter rank among the members of the 3,000-hit club? A club that boasts the likes of Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Ty Cobb, some of the greatest baseball players of all time.