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Friday, July 08, 2011
A few years back, maybe five or six as Derek Jeter(notes) remembers, the shortstop sat in a spring training clubhouse examining a New York Yankees media guide with a few teammates. As they scrolled through the records section they noticed something startling: Never in the great, glorious history of the franchise had there been a player who had 3,000 hits as a Yankee.
Not Babe Ruth. Not Lou Gehrig. Not Joe DiMaggio.
And right there Jeter had to understand the legacy he could own on a franchise loaded with legends, several of whom were considered better players than he. The Yankees might have a garden of monuments dedicated to home run champions and triple crown winners, but none had 3,000 Yankee hits. That distinction alone would belong to Jeter as long as he stayed healthy.