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Derek Jeter becomes the active hits leader

May 1, 2010, 10:02 AM EDT

Derek Jeter triple.jpgDerek Jeter went 3 for 4 with a triple, a homer and four RBI, leading the Yankees past the White Sox 6-4.

Of greater significance than the win: the hit gave him 2,778 for his career, which put him past Ken Griffey, Jr. for the lead among active players.  Griffey, of course, had a six year head start, but they were evened up when the real Ken Griffey, Jr. was abducted by the Tralfamadorians ten years ago and was replaced by an imposter who the aliens mistakenly implanted with a performance chip that was designed to replicate a late-career Ellis Burks.  A shame, really.

Career-wise, Jeter is now 45th on the all-time list, but he’ll pass a whole bunch of guys this season.  Barring injury or Tralfamadorian abduction, he’ll join the 3,000 hit club some time next season.

  1. Old Gator - May 1, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    Zog is being dispatched even as we speak (but then, if you rightly grok chronosynclastic infundibulae, Zog has always been dispatched – in fact, he always was dispatched and always will be).
    .
    Incidentally, you can have Billy back. He can’t hit the curveball. Now put away your golf clubs.

  2. Lionheart! - May 1, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Hat tip to the Vonnegut reference

  3. Raffy - May 1, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    Maybe it is is just me, but it is such a pet peeve when writers, in order to emphasize the struggles of one player, shit on an unrelated player to make his point. I don’t get the need to talk trash about Ellis Burks just to emphasize that Griffey is not the player he once was. The need to do that makes no sense to me.
    PLUS, in this case, it is even worse because it is flat out wrong!
    Ellis Burks put up excellent numbers pretty much right until the end of his career.
    In his final seasons in the bigs (besides his very last half-season), Burks was still pretty much hitting 25 homers a season, driving in 80-90 runs, and batting in the .290-.300 range, including .344 in 2000 at age 35. I’m guessing that most players wish they could be hitting .301 with 32 home runs at age 37.
    I don’t know what numbers you were looking at. Did you just pick a random ballplayer that you remembered?
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/burksel01.shtml
    So this reference was pointless AND incorrect. Nice.

  4. Craig Calcaterra - May 1, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Ken Griffey Jr.’s OPS for the Reds: .876
    Ellis Burks’ career OPS: .874
    Those were the numbers I was looking at. If you’re a big Ellis Burks fan, sorry, but the fact is, decline-era Ken Griffey Jr. is basically the same as Ellis Burks.

  5. YANKEES1996 - May 1, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Nevermind Burks and Griffey Jr this article is about Jeter and his rock steady performance. I say congrats to the Cap’n and here is to many more years of faithful service in the pinstripes. Derek Jeter will retire as the “Greatest Yankee of All Time”.

  6. SouthofHeaven - May 1, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    A Jeter article & a Slaughterhouse 5 reference. Can’t get much cooler than that. You rule Craig!

  7. Wooden U. Lykteneau - May 1, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Only 563 to go until he catches the actual career hits leader, Ichiro Suzuki.

  8. Spike1948 - May 1, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Would the writer had made a big deal of this if had not been about a Yankee……perhaps not. If had been for the numerous injuries, Junior would have left many behind in the rear view mirror…including the SF poster boy for pharmacuticals. But of course if the dog had stopped to……. Who will ever know?

  9. Raffy - May 1, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    you referred to a late career Ellis Burks. Look again – His OPS during his years in Colorado, San Fran and Cleveland were significantly higher than that of Griffey’s with the Reds. The lower OPSs for Burks were in his early days in Boston.
    I could care less about Ellis Burks. My point is not that he was as good as Griffey. My point is that Burks clearly got better with age, while Griffey has declined with age(as most players do). That is why I thought it was a strange comparison of their late careers.
    If you were referring to “late-career” of Griffey, as opposed to “late-career” of Burks (which is what you actually might have been doing), it makes a bit more sense. Still strange. If you were gonna compare Griffey to someone who sucked, I just think it would make sense to compare him to someone who actually sucked.
    All that said, Jeter is outstanding, and it is really impressive what he has accomplished.

  10. SouthofHeaven - May 1, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    How exactly is writing a blog post that’s barely 100 words “making a big deal?” He noted the accomplishment, I didn’t detect any boot-licking.

  11. Anon - May 1, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Jeter as the Greatest Yankee of All Time? Really, are you just trying to get people going on a nice Saturday afternoon? Rather than list all the Yankee players who were/are better than Jeter, I’ll just go mow my lawn.

  12. Old Gator - May 1, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    Please indulge a lazy retiree. Does that figure include the numbers he put up in Japan?

  13. JGS - May 1, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Old Gator–yup. The same Japanese leagues where Hideki Matsui hit 50 home runs and Kei Igawa won a Cy Young

  14. razor - May 2, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    What’s really funny about Craig defending the Ellis Burks comparison with the use of OPS is that Jeter’s career OPS is .847.
    Total hits was the topic, no? Obviously all of the at bats Griffey Jr lost this last decade due to all of his injuries is what has allowed Jeter to pass him by in career active hits.
    Neither Burks nor any OPS comparison has a lot to do w/anything, other than to show that Jr wasn’t the player he was in the 90’s this past decade. What that has to do with Jeter is anyone’s guess but Calcaterra.
    Good stuff.

  15. Kilgore Trout - May 2, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    Hmmm … I wonder what position that OPS is more valuable out of … corner OF, DH, or SS. You’re out of your league here. He’s not crapping on anyone, Ellis Burks had a nice career. He’s merely pointing out that Griffey started out fast and declined rapidly at the midpoint of his career. No one watching the Kid in the early years at Seattle would have guessed he’d end up being a lot like Burks for so long. The Captain meanwhile, may even be better than he was back then, which is incredible. Comparing Griffey to Jeter is timely, and I actually thought using Burks as the 3rd player was a useful sort of shortcut that didn’t unnecessarily poke fun at Burks.
    Big Burks fan here, I’ve actually met him, he’s a super-nice guy. If anyone would be offended by Burks being slammed it’s me, but that’s not what happened here.

  16. Old Gator - May 2, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    There seems to be an abundance of Vonnegut fans on this forum. I’m not sure why, but that gives me renewed hope for the future of mankind.
    .
    Incidentally, SouthofHeaven, Zog of Tralfamadore appears briefly in Sirens of Titan, wherein he is brained with a golf club for landing his space ship in the middle of the course and trying to communicate in Tralfamadorian by farting and tap dancing. Ergo any reference to that beloved cousin planet is multi-textual, not just to Slaughterhouse. I used to visit there regularly to sell insurance.

  17. chipper's charmer - May 2, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    I gotta say the whole Burks inclusion stood out as kinda weird to me, too. It’s just not a good fit, and it illuminated little other than to highlight a basically lame attempt at humor ; )
    Of course, I lost the logic with the ‘more important than the win’ sentence. Sounds like someone’s spending too much time in mom’s basement! Come out, come out, where ever you are!
    Jeter’s awesome, and has assumed the mantle of active hits leader. The other stuff? Filler, man, just filler.

  18. Kilgore Trout - May 2, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Screw that old no-talent fraud Vonnegut. He stole my ideas, repackaged them with major publishing houses, cleverly disguised them with a little General Electric corporate speak et voila. Worst of all? NO BEAVER PHOTOS ANYWHERE.

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