Derek Jeter: The Emperor of the Evil Empire

Did anyone see Derek Jeter having such a resurgence in his career before the 2012 MLB season began?  He was entering his 18th season playing for the Yankees and was turning 38 years old.  In the new era of PED testing, the days of players getting ready to turn 40 and having career years were supposed to be over.  The 2011 season was probably the worst of his storied career in terms of only being healthy enough to play in 131 games and barely topping his lowest hit total for a season (2003 when he only played in 119 games.)  His batting average in 2010 was the lowest of his career since his 15 game call up in 1995 as a rookie.  Whispers were starting to come from New York wondering if Derek Jeter should hang up the spikes and call it a career.  People wondered if he was hurting the Yankees chances for success by hanging on and forcing them to keep the “Franchise” around against their will.  It was getting eerily similar to some of the rumblings that another great SS starting hearing at the end of his career.  Cal Ripken Jr heard those same kind of things as his career wound down with the Orioles.  The Orioles haven’t been a winning franchise until this season since Cal Ripken last played a game for them and they struggled mightily his last few seasons with the team.  Was Derek Jeter going to suffer the same fate and would the Yankees struggle in return?

While the Yankees find themselves in a dog fight with the aforementioned Baltimore Orioles in the pennant race for the AL East crown this season, Derek Jeter finds himself having a fantastic season that has people asking a new question.  Where will Jeter find himself on the all time hits list once he decides to retire?  The other night found Derek Jeter passing Willie Mays for sole possession of 11th place with 3,284 hits.  He started the season in 21st place with 3,088 hits.  So in one season he was able to jump 10 spots and passed Hall of Fame greats like Dave Winfield, Tony Gywnn, Robin Yount, Paul Waner, George Brett, Cal Ripken, Nap LaJoie, Eddie Murray and Willie Mays to do so.  He is only 30 hits behind Eddie Collins for 10th place.  While Jeter will not reach that milestone this season barring a miracle run the last two weeks, he will definitely pass Collins in no time next season.  34 more hits and he reaches Paul Molitor for 9th.  Again should have that done in April next season.  134 more hits and he passes Yaz for 8th and 1 more hit after that will get him to Honus Wagner for 7th.

The least amount of hits that Derek Jeter has ever had in season (not counting that 15 game call up) was 156 hits.  If Derek Jeter does not get another hit this season and only gets 156 hits next season, that would give him 3441 which would mean that next year he would pass Collins, Molitor, Wagner and Cap Anson (3435 hits) and place him in 6th place.

It is safe to say that Derek Jeter is going to finish with more than 156 hits between now and the end of the 2013 season barring injury.  He has a player’s option with a team buyout to come back for the 2014 season which would be his 20th season and the year in which he turns 40.  Lets say he just hits 300 hits from now until the end of the 2014 season…that would put Derek Jeter at 3585 hits which would get Derek past Tris Speaker (3514 hits) and into 5th place all time behind only Pete Rose (4256), Ty Cobb (4189), Hank Aaron (3771) and Stan Musial (3630.)

I do not see any way in which Jeter passes 4,000 hits unless he hangs around until he is 43 or 44 years old but I can see him possibly doing well enough the next two seasons to stick around for the 2015 season and pass Hank Aaron to move into 3rd place.  At worst I see him getting past Tris Speaker and into at least 5th place.  Would either of those scenarios get Jeter to where he would be elected into the Hall of Fame with the highest vote percentage of all time?  The media loves Jeter.  He plays in New York.  He’s handled himself with class throughout his career.  Even avid Yankee haters like myself begrudgingly respect the hell out of what he has accomplished.  In today’s age with ESPN, TMZ, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, everyone having a camera phone following athletes around 24/7, the pressure is a helluva lot higher on players than it was even 25 years ago let alone back in Babe Ruth’s day.  The travel is also much worse.  Games being played in Japan.  Teams all over the country instead of just east of the Mississippi River.  It can be argued that it is much harder to be a baseball player now thus making Jeter’s success all the more impressive.  The Yankees were irrelevant for about 15 years before Derek Jeter showed up in pinstripes for the first time.  Then with the help of Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams, they made the Yankees the Evil Empire again.  In the steroid era where every player putting up historical numbers has clouds of doubt  or was a known PED user, the only scandal surrounding Derek Jeter is the long list of beautiful women that have received a Derek Jeter gift basket including an autographed baseball after an one night stand.  Can you imagine the stories that would be known about Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth and the effect the ESPN/TMZ news cycle would have had on their careers?  Taking these things into account, I think Derek Jeter does break the record for vote percentage when he gets elected into the Hall of Fame.  Sorry Tom Seaver but I think your 98.84% is going to be toppled and I’ll guess 98.97% because God knows that some schmuck ass reporter from like Boston or something will refuse to put him on their ballot.

I’m interested to know where my readers think Jeter will end up on the all time hit list and whether or not he will break Tom Seaver’s record when he is elected into the HOF.  Comment away.






2 responses to “Derek Jeter: The Emperor of the Evil Empire”

  1. Savita Avatar

    Jesus, I pray for Derek, asking that you would visit him and let him know Your love for him. That this visit can mark his life, and that Derek will walk out his cllaing of sharing Your message to the World. Bring salvation to his family, friends, and teammates, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

  2. […] all the great players that have worn Yankees pinstripes, none have come close to that.  I have blogged before about where Jeter could end up on that list but I assumed he would play at least until the end of 2015 making 5th place almost a cinch.  At […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *