In the world of baseball, few individual achievements measure up to getting 3,000 hits.
Members of the club are nearly all given entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot and enter the ranks of the greatest batters in the game’s rich history.
The actual moment of the achievement is both captivating and beautiful, as games will pause while fans cheer and players revel in what they have done.
The only way that such a moment could be marred is if the player’s team lost.
Derek Jeter made sure that did not happen.
The Yankees shortstop and team captain became the 28th player to reach 3,000 career hits on July 9 during a home game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
While the likelihood of him attaining his 3,000 hit during that game was assumed, the way he did it only added to the grandeur of the feat.
Starting the game with an air of nervousness, Jeter hit a single during his first at-bat to raise his count to 2,999.
In the third inning, he sent a ball from Rays’ pitcher David Price into the left-field stands, earning his 3,000 hit by way of a homerun. The Yankees’ no. 2 sent the hit into the bleachers right around 2 p.m., adding to the moment’s wonder.
Jeter’s hit makes him one of two players to reach the hit summit through a home run, the only other being former-Yankee and teammate Wade Boggs, who got his 3,000 hit while with Tampa Bay.
“Hitting a home run was the last thing I was thinking about,” said Jeter.
As a culmination of many Yankee fans’ hopes and a highlight in an already illustrious career spanning over fifteen years, Jeter’s homerun sent the game into a stand-still as those present recognized his achievement.
As Yankee players celebrated around their captain at home plate, Rays’ players both on-field and in the dugout cheered on Jeter.
“Derek stands for the good stuff in baseball,” said Rays’ outfielder and former-Yankee Johnny Damon. “Everybody in this clubhouse respects Derek Jeter.”