JULY 8, 2011, 8:00 PM
Some 3,000 Hit Quirks
By JORGE CASTILLO
As much as the Derek Jeter’s pursuit toward 3,000 hits has been chronicled around the clock, the moment he finally does reach the milestone — in the age of high definition and smartphones — will be even more inescapable.
The question of when has been discussed thoroughly. Just three hits away, it will likely come this weekend at Yankee Stadium against the Rays. But how it will finally happen is anyone’s guess.
Jeter will become the 28th player in history to accomplish the feat. The first 27 have done so in various ways and circumstances.
Craig Biggio, the last to reach the sacred number in 2007, was thrown out trying to stretch number 3,000 into a double. Wade Boggs’s 3,000th hit was a home run — unconventional for a player who had only 118 homers and two double-digit home-run seasons in an 18-year career.
Pete Rose did what Pete Rose seemed to always do: singled for his 3,000th against the Montreal Expos in 1978. Rose finished his career with the most hits in history, 4,256 — 3,215 of which were singles, also the most in history.
Paul Molitor went a more strenuous route to reach the plateau in 1995: he tripled. Molitor remains the only member to leg out a three-bagger for number 3,000.
In his final season, Rod Carew reached the milestone against the Twins the same day Tom Seaver won his 300th game against the Yankees on Aug. 4, 1985.
Seven years later, George Brett entered his day four shy of the mark and managed to double and single three times in his first four at-bats to reach the mark against the Angels — with Carew in the opposing dugout as the Angels’ batting coach.
Not all went as planned, however: Brett was picked off of first while talking to Angels first baseman Gary Gaetti, who Brett reportedly said had asked if his family was in attendance to witness the landmark hit.
Then there’s Roberto Clemente. He doubled for his 3,000th hit in his final regular-season at-bat of 1972, a night after a controversial error ruling took away what would have been number 3,000. The hit would turn out to be the regular season at-bat of his career; he would die in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve of that year.