Derek Jeter has been on the path to Yankees' greatness for 15 seasons, but it wasn't until Friday night that he finally earned a spot on the front page of the team's record book. Taking a 2-0 pitch from Baltimore's Chris Tillman(notes) down the first base line, the Yankees shortstop recorded his 2,722nd hit as a Yankee, breaking the team record of 2,721 set by Lou Gehrig in 1939. Jeter was greeted by a 2 1/2 minute long ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd and mobbed by teammates who hopped the dugout rail as soon as Jeter rounded first. He later broke his own record with a RBI single in the fourth.
Though some want to debate the value of the record, I don't think there's any doubt that Jeter's accomplishment deserves praise from all around. Accumulating more than 2,700 hits in one uniform takes great health and perseverance and that he was able to set the record while playing a value position like shortstop only adds to the achievement. Keith Olbermann has a point in saying that Gehrig would have set the bar much higher had he not been stricken by ALS, but today's athletes can only clear the hurdles that have been set.
Jeter has been quoted heavily this week as saying that he's quite aware of the legend he was passing and that he was making it a point to look around and savor the moment.
To that we can only say: Enjoy and savor away, Derek. You've certainly earned it.
Source: Yahoo Sports