Jeter adds another Yankees record to his Mantle
Today, the record books for baseballs most historic franchise have changed. Number seven is now number two, and number two is now number one. By appearing in today’s game Derek Jeter passed the legendary Micky Mantle to become the Yankees’ all-time leader in games played. All it took was 18 years and 2402 appearances.
In typical Jeter fashion, the Yankees’ captain downplayed the achievement, saying: “I take pride in coming and doing my job. I think that’s probably the best way to put it. “My job is obviously to come and play games, try to stay on the field and try to stay healthy. I’ve done it for a long time, I guess.”
The first half of this season was filled with critical talk about the aging shortstop. Much of this was well-deserved. I reminded my readers that Derek Jeter is Derek Jeter, and Yankees baseball doesn’t really get started until after the all-star break. I said that as the games start to become more important, Jeter’s play would improve.
Derek, thanks for making me look good. The Yankees now find themselves in a heated battle for the top spot in the AL East with their bitter rivals: The Boston Red Sox. All Jeter has done to help the cause is hit a staggering .355. Jeter has responded to critics in the way that we have come to expect: with his play. All the talk of his decline has long been replaced with talk of his accomplishments.
Before Jeter hangs up his glove, there are several more milestones within his reach. He very well could pass two other immortal Yankees. Lou Gehrig’s doubles mark with the team isn’t too far away; and it’s not far-fetched to think the Great Bambino’s mark for total runs will be surpassed. But I highly doubt these are Jeter’s focus. Jeter remains focused on getting back to the stage where he truly shines: the playoffs. His determination and drive are unquestioned at this time of year, and I have no doubt that his numbers will continue to be solid and reflect that. That’s a gamble even A-Rod would be comfortable with.
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