Why 3,000 Hits Revived Derek Jeter

Posted: April 19, 2012 by vindanton in Pro Sports

By: Christian Fazzini

Getty Images

Despite his age, Derek Jeter continues to prove why he is still one of the elite shortstops in all of baseball.

The whispers of Jeter being “done” began last season when he was on his quest for 3,000 hits. Slumping heading into the summer months, and the heart of the baseball season, with every game, it looked as if the 17-year veteran was loosing his edge and his successor, Eduardo Nunez, was going to take over sometime soon.

When the captain of the most winningest franchise in sports history went down with a calf injury, which landed him on the DL for close to a month, Yankee fans could not bare to watch their prized possession falter.

Jeter noticed something was wrong with his swing, so when he got injured, it was the perfect time to work on it as he regained his health.Usually, Jeter takes a step when he swings and in spring training of the 2011 season he decided he was not going to step, but simply pivot his toe to help him gain more time as the pitch came in.

This did not work for Jeter as he was hitting barely .260 as he went on the DL, 53 average points below his career average of .313. He went down to Tampa Bay, Florida during his rehab and relearned his old swing, and to get away from the pressure.

Could the real Derek Jeter be done? Could this be the last year we see him put on the pinstripes? Jeter had other thoughts.

On a hot Saturday in July at Yankees Stadium, Jeter was determined to silence his critics and remind Yankee fans he is not ready to call it quits just yet. Jeter had recorded 2,998 hits in his illustrious career prior to that day…two hits shy of 3,000.

Coming up for the second time in the game and recording a single in his first at bat, Jeter needed one more hit to become the 28th member of the 3,000 hit club and the first Yankee to do so.

As the voice of the late, great public address announcer Bob Sheppard echoed through the stadium, Jeter stepped up to the plate, hoping to make history in front of his hometown fans.

Jeter hit a ball into right-center field bleachers.

The sold-out crowd erupted as he trotted around the bases. With one swing of the bat Jeter insured himself an invite to Cooperstown and proved he was not, as some thought, “done”. He hit well over .300 after his 5-5 day on July 9, 2011, and this season seems no different for the five-time World Series champion.

Jeter is tearing the cover off the ball in 2012.  Hitting .389 with four homers and ten RBIs in 12 games, Jeter is showing no signs of slowing up. Proving he can still perform at an elite level.

Coming into the 2012 season, Derek Jeter was 50-1 odds to win the M.V.P. Those odds are beginning to favor towards Jeter every time he swings the bat.

Let’s face it Jeter cannot play forever. As much as Yankee fans would love for that to happen, it cannot.

It will be a very sad day not just for Yankee fans, but also for the game of baseball when Derek Jeter decides to hang up his cleats. But for now, sit back, relax and enjoy as Jeter starts what could potentially be a career year at the age of 37.

 

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