Derek Jeter will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 8. The Post is counting down his 10 best moments leading into The Captain’s big day in Cooperstown.
1 Jeter’s 3,000th hit
As Derek Jeter stepped into the batter’s box in the bottom of the third inning on a Saturday in July 2011, the Yankees legend stood one hit away from history.
Entering the 2011 season, Jeter needed 74 hits to reach the illustrious 3,000-hit milestone. Yet he managed just a .250 batting average in April and landed on the disabled list in mid-June with a calf injury, temporarily derailing his pursuit.
The plateau was at last within reach on July 9 at Yankee Stadium.
Jeter chopped a single into left field to lead off the bottom of the first against Tampa Bay’s David Price for hit No. 2,999. Two innings later, Price hung a 3-2 curveball that Jeter golfed into the left-field seats for a home run, becoming the 28th player in MLB history to record 3,000 hits — and doing so in grand fashion.
“If I would have tried to have written it and given it to someone, I wouldn’t have even bought it, to be honest with you,” Jeter said after the game. “It was just one of those special days.”
Jeter reached the mark in front of a sold-out crowd, an opportunity that could have slipped away. As their three-game series against the Rays began on July 8, the Yankees were at the start of a 17-game stretch that featured only three home games. If Jeter had failed to notch three hits in the three games against the Rays, he likely would have accomplished the milestone on the road.
“I have been lying, saying I wasn’t nervous and no pressure to do it here,” Jeter said. “But there was a lot of pressure to do it here. It wouldn’t have felt right doing it somewhere else.”
Jeter’s theatrics continued that day. He went 5-for-5, with a fifth-inning double, a sixth-inning single and, finally, an RBI single in the eighth that gave the Yankees the 5-4 victory, prolonging the celebration.