No one knows where Derek Jeter will end up. . .except in the Baseball Hall of Fame, right alongside Cal Ripken Jr., his childhood idol that he is now tied with in career hits.
Thursday night, a single in the seventh inning gave Jeter, 3,184 career hits, which ties him with Ripken for 13th on baseball’s all-time hit list. It’s one thing for Jeter, 38, to be where he is on that list. To be tied with Ripken, the iconic former shortstop, makes it even more special.
“Right now, it is kind of hard to sit around and think about it,” Jeter said after the Yankees’ 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. “I think I’ve told you before what he has represented to the game, being a shortstop, he is someone I’ve always admired. At this moment, now, it is not something I’m thinking about.”
If Jeter stays healthy, he will have a shot to catch Nap Lajoie at 3,252 hits this season. Jeter has 96 hits in 73 games this season.
Thursday night, Jeter nearly moved past Ripken in dramatic fashion. Down a run with a man on and two outs in the ninth, Jeter nailed an opposite-field drive that sent White Sox right fielder Alex Rios crashing into the wall for the final out.
“They are playing no doubles,” Jeter said. “So it either goes out or he catches and he caught it. I thought I had a chance, but it didn’t happen.”
Jeter, 38, may try to pursue 4,000 hits. His contract has one more season for $17 million, plus a player option for $8 million in 2014.