What they're saying about Derek Jeter
The sports world was buzzing as Derek Jeter continued to inch closer to 3,000 hits. Here are what some athletes and notable sports figures said about the Yankee Captain's pursuit of milestone, and ultimately his 3,000th hit.
PAUL MOLITOR, member of the 3,000-hits club
"?Reaching 3,000 hits was never a goal. And especially with all the injuries I had, I never thought it was realistic. Watching Robin get there first helped me relax. It just happened naturally and 3,000 hits is as much a product of longevity as much as ability. I knew it was rare achievement and that it might help me to get into the Hall of Fame. Looking back, I am proud to have reached that milestone.
"?To have the most hits for the most prestigious franchise in all of sports is pretty special. If Derek stays healthy, he has a good chance to rack up a lot more hits.?"
ROBIN YOUNT, member of the 3,000-hits club
"If you play as many games as I did and get as many at bats as I did, then I was eventually going to get to 3,000 hits. It wasnt until my career was ending did I realize how special it was to reach 3,000 hits, based on how few people had done it. I am more proud of playing as long as I did, then anything. My hits total was the culmination of playing 20 years and being healthy enough to do so. I love what I see of Derek Jeter. He is the complete package: a leader, clutch player, and lots of success on baseballs biggest stage, New York. Being the complete package is something every player dreams of."
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, New York City mayor
"Long before joining the 3,000 hit club, Derek Jeter became another one of New Yorks icons because he represents what is best in the spirit of our city: an unbreakable belief that with hard work and determination, anything can be accomplished. Perhaps above all else, Derek is someone who loves this city and who has a long history of giving back to the place and the people that helped make him the superstar he is. New York has a greater baseball tradition than any other city, but we've never had a player get all 3,000 hits in a New York uniform until today. Congratulations Derek you've made all of New York City proud."
WADE BOGGS, member of the 3,000-hits club
"Congratulations, first of all, to Derek Jeter on joining the 3,000 hit club. It is an exclusive honor, achieved by only a select group, that not many people can call their own. It is a monumental achievement, and Derek has climbed the mountain. He's reached that honor, where he can stake his flag in the mountain and call it his own.
"?I had the opportunity to play with Derek when he was a rookie in 1996, and I had no doubts that Derek would reach this milestone. He is a very consistent player and he never deviated from his game. When you stay healthy and you are consistent and compile a lengthy career like Derek has done, you have the opportunity to reach that 3,000 hit plateau.
"?Reaching the 3,000 hit mark is another piece of the legacy that Derek has created. It won't be too long now before we are on the verandah in Cooperstown at the Otesaga Hotel celebrating his Induction to the Hall of Fame."?
JOE TORRE, former Yankees manager
"Nothing he does should surprise anybody. He's always been the guy who can rise up for the occasion. To me, I loved the line drive to right field, the fourth hit."
GEORGE BRETT, member of the 3,000 hit club
George Brett, who said he's never met Derek Jeter, told the Associated Press that if he got a chance to speak with him, he'd tell Jeter, "I admired you throughout your whole career. You've kept your nose clean in an era where it’s really hard to keep your nose clean."
TIM BELCHER, former MLB pitcher
"People for years to come are going to talk about Derek Jeter's career, and when they look at his bio and see who gave up his first hit, my name will always be there," Belcher told Newsday earlier this year. "That's kind of a neat association."