The Captain Stands Alone
That was fun, wasn’t it?
Congratulations to Derek Jeter for career hit No. 2,722, placing him first on the Yankees’ all-time hits list. Watching any ballgame is great, but there’s something special about following every at-bat, making sure that you know when it’s coming…getting into the details of the game…Is Derek coming to bat this inning or next inning? Hey! Who’s at the plate right now, you say, as you hurry quickly to the kitchen to grab a snack. Because you do not want to miss it.
I’m willing to bet very few Yankees fans missed what happened tonight at 9:23 p.m….only if they had absolutely no way of getting in front of a television, or getting within earshot of a radio.
We didn’t want to miss Ripken’s historic game when he passed the Iron Horse for consecutive games played. We didn’t want to miss McGwire, at the time, when he stood poised to pass Maris for the single-season home run record. And we can’t help but keep checking when pitchers today are flirting with perfect games or no-hitters…into the seventh, then eighth, then ninth innings.
But this had a different feel…maybe because it’s not part of the everyday grind of a 162-game season. It is, quite possibly, a once in a lifetime happening. I mean, the record that Jeter broke tonight stood for 72 years! How many of us will be around when, or even if, Jeter’s new record is ever broken?
And, as Michael Kay put it so appropriately, this is just a signpost for Jeter. It’s not like he’s stopping at 2,722, one hit ahead of Lou Gehrig…there are plenty more to come. We’ll be celebrating hit No. 3,000 in almost no time, the way he hits…then 3,500…and, dare we say, 4,000? Or will he become baseball’s all-time hit king?
Guess I’m getting way ahead of myself. I’ll take the advice that Derek’s dad, Dr. Charles Jeter, gave him: I’m just going to enjoy the moment tonight…because the journey is far from over.