As all New Yorkers know Derek Jeter collected his historic 3,000th career hit during Saturday’s game with a home run.
It was storybook, too good to be scripted, unbelievable. It was vintage Jeter.
In a career that has featured so many achievements and milestones, the Yankee captain has had other significant events that go beyond basic batting statistics. Moments that will forever be enshrined in baseball lore. The list has been narrowed down to these four events.
The Flip: Game 3 of 2001 ALDS – With New York down 2 games to 0 against the Oakland Athletics the Yankees had their backs against the wall. With the Yanks protecting a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 7th, Terence Long of the Athletics slugged a long double with teammate Jeremy Giambi on first base. Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer made a wild and desperate throw for catcher Jorge Posada that was way off target. Jeter, noticing the errant throw, sprinted from his shortstop position and reached the ball while he was parallel with home plate. By quickly “flipping” the ball to Posada, the catcher was able to tag out Giambi just in time. The Yanks went on to win the game and the series.
“Mr. November”: Game 4 of 2001 World Series – What a year 2001 was for Jeter! Due to the horrific September 11th attacks, baseball was put on hold and thus the season was extended. Game 4 of the 2001 Worlod Series was played on October 31st. The game lasted until after midnight, thus making it the first baseball game to ever be played in November. Moments after the change in the month, Jeter smashed a 3-2 pitch from the Arizona Diamondbacks Byung-Hyun Kim for a wild, walk-off win and thus earning him the title “Mr. November”.
Passing Lou Gehrig: September 11th, 2009 – The fans had to tough out not only an emotional date to watch this piece of Yankees history, but had to endure a long rain delay and chilling temperatures. Even when play began there was rain pouring into the stadium. The fans that remained loyal, however, got to see one of Jeter’s best moments. Jeter collected his 2,722 hit in the third inning of that game to pass the legendary Lou Gehrig for the all-times hit leader in Yankee history. This feat officially marked him as the greatest hitter for the greatest franchise.
3,000th Hit: July 9th, 2011 – Now, for the most recent and talked about Jeter event to date. When he was still 6 hits away from this milestone, Jeter was forced to the DL for over 2 weeks to rest a calf injury. This only added to the angst and anxiety to the question of when would Jeter get his 3,000th. The answer came with an exclamation mark as Jeter ripped a home run in the third inning of Tampa Bay All-Star David Price. He became only the 28th player in baseball history to collect 3,000 hits and only the 2nd to do it with a home run. Jeter ended up going 5-5 to end the day for good measure.
The Flip play garnered the most national attention as it was voted 7th on Baseball Weekly’s “Top Ten Baseball Moments” and won the 2002 ESPY award for “Play of the Year”. However, the other events might mean more to the Yankees organization, their fans, and the city as a whole.
So, which event was the best? Let us hear your opinion on our Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pix11news!
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