Sunday, July 10, 2011

By The Numbers

3,003, 37, 28, 5-5, 4,2, 1, and 1.

That would be Yankees shortstop and Captain, Derek Jeter's numbers from Saturday, July 9. Derek Jeter has now joined an elite club of 3,000 hits. There are only 28 people who have done it. In Jeter's plate appearances against All Star pitcher, Tampa Bay David Price, Jeter went 5 for 5, including the hit that put him in the club, a homerun, making him only the second person to hit that amazing plateau with a homerun (Wade Boggs would be the other person, for those keeping score). Not only did Jeter have a perfect day for the plate, including driving in the winning run, but he stole a base, too.

Not bad for a 37 year old. Speaking of age, Jeter is also the 4th youngest person to reach this amazing number. And he is the only one in a Yankees uniform to have done so.

Jeter has long been one of my favorite Yankees (Bernie Williams was another fave, back in the day when Jeter was a young man). He is the consummate professional, garnering respect and admiration even from Red Sox fans. He is about the game, not about his own personal records. As a result, he has quietly amassed records that have pushed him past some of the best known Yankees in history. He passed Lou Gehrig as the Yankee with the most hits. He has stolen more bases than Rickey Henderson. He has done it all with a humility unseen in many professional athletes, and a quiet leadership as the Captain of the Yankees on and off the field.

On the field, Jeter has made some of the most unbelievable plays, like this one:

Or this one. Watch how far he goes for this catch:

This was what Jeter said about that amazing catch and dive into the stands:

And he has five - FIVE - World Series rings to boot.

Here is a recap of his magical day:

Oh, and the fan who caught that homerun ball? Christian Lopez, 23, was at that game as a result of his girlfriend's gift. He and his dad were there together. After he caught it, and was whisked away by security (for his protection), he gladly gave the ball up for Jeter, saying this was such an incredible accomplishment, Jeter should have the ball. He said he wouldn't mind getting a few signed baseballs for it (the price they expected that ball to fetch was $1 million). Well, he got that and a bit more - signed balls, signed bats, signed jerseys, amazing seats for Sunday's game, and 4 front row season tickets for the rest of the season - in the Legends section.

As for the cool mil he could have gotten, Lopez said:
[snip] Lopez was asked if he ever thought of demanding $1 million or more for the ball, as some fans have after catching milestone home runs.

''It didn't cross my mind until they asked me what I wanted,'' he said. ''The only thing I could think of was a few signed balls would be nice, and to meet him. It wasn't about the money. It was about a milestone, and I wasn't going to take that away from him. Money's cool and all, but I'm only 23 years old. I have a lot of time to make that.''

''Mr. Jeter deserved it,'' Lopez said. ''It's all his.'' [snip]

Yes, it is. Though what a refreshing change of attitude Mr. Lopez demonstrated!

Congratulations, Captain. You deserve all the accolades you are receiving, and more. What a class act. Here's to you, Jeet! Copyright © 2011 by Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy

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