On July 9th, 2011, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter not only collected his 3,000th career hit but added to his collection of haters who will not appreciate his career because he did it as a Yankee.
As Jeter took a lengthy pitch battle with Tampa Bay Rays pitcher, David Price, social media networks were flowing like crazy waiting to publish their personal thoughts on the incredible feat.
In the age of steroids, lies, cheating scandals and social media, Derek Jeter remained a consistent role model. Never once embarrassing the organization that made him, unlike former teammates Andy Pettite, Roger Clemens, and even current, Alex Rodriguez.
While it's true that Jeter's numbers may have declined in recent memory, there's no forgetting what he has done for the Yankees organization since he won his first World Series, which was also his rookie season in which he took home Rookie of the Year.
It's saddening to realize that almost every time a baseball superstar emerges, a fan must wonder if he is natural or on the juice. The kid who had a dream of being the Yankees shortstop has now become a man that can be considered the greatest shortstop of all-time.
Now sports are all about debate and the argument of greatest shortstop of all-time will sure to be on this, but there should be no reason to hate on the Yankee captain.
Being named a captain for the Yankees is an incredible honor in its own; Jeter is the 11th all-time in the fine history of that organization. "Mr. November" has been doing it since he was called up to the big show and has never looked back.
Only 28 players have hit 3,000 career hits and only two, Jeter and Wade Boggs, have hit number 3,000 on a home-run. A twelve-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove winner, four-time Silver Slugger winner and World Series MVP in 2000, Jeter has all but piled up the accomplishments, but he wouldn't brag.
Jeter's humbleness throughout his chase towards 3,000 has just proved more to the character of who he has been since the kid that the Yankees called up in 1996 to be their Opening Day starter, and he has contributed ever since.
The man with 3,000 hits, who wears No. 2 on the back of his jersey, cares more about the Yankee logo on the front of his jersey. That's how Jeter's character is—team-first and role model. There is no doubt that when the Yankees bring in big name players to sign, they make sure "DJ" is there to market with them.
Debatable is Derek Jeter being the greatest shortstop of all-time, but he has my vote. Debatable is Derek Jeter being the greatest Yankee of all-time, and he does have the hits record in his name. What is not debatable is the fact that Derek Jeter always came to the baseball field ready to work on both ends, and he never made one complaint.
Sure his critics will hate on him, they'll say he's played for loaded teams despite the Yankees having always been a winning dynasty. So before you get ready to doubt Derek Jeter and talk down on him, make sure you consider what he's done for the New York Yankees since 1996, and realize that he is the major reason for the five World Series they have won since he's been there.
It's only a matter of time before we see Derek Jeter in the baseball Hall of Fame, and there will be no doubts, questions, or steroid concerns about it.
Congratulations to Derek Jeter on his record accomplishment of 3,000 hits!