The achievement of reaching 3,000 hits is indeed special. Plenty of great Yankees could not get there. If fact, none did. From Ruth and Gehrig to DiMaggio and Mantle, no one reached that elite number.
When Derek Jeter attains the milestone--he should do it sometime in June--the next person to join him could be teammate Alex Rodriguez.
Here's a look at the active hit leaders and their chances of achieving 3,000 hits. Listed age is for 2011 season.
Derek Jeter (37), 2926: Stay healthy and he's a lock. Not that he needs it, but 3,000 hits is a sure ticket to the Hall of Fame unless betting on baseball (Pete Rose) or PED accusations (Rafael Palmiero) are part of the resume. Projection: Definite.
Ivan Rodriguez (39), 2817: The Nationals think he can still play fulltime. He'll need the better part of two more seasons and plenty of hits. Better chance if he had DH possibilities. Projection: A near miss.
Omar Vizquel (44), 2799: We say Jeter is old? Omar wants to play forever and so far, he has. But it looks like he will fall short. Projection: No.
Alex Rodriguez (36), 2672: He's the type that will take three weeks to get there, then do it with a home run. Projection: Yes.
Manny Ramirez (39), 2573: Not enough hits, not enough time. Projection: No.
Johnny Damon (37), 2571: See Manny. Projection: No.
Chipper Jones (39), 2490: You thought he had more hits than he does. He doesn't and he's nearing the finish line of a great career. Projection: No.
Vladimir Guerrero (36), 2427: The best player that everyone allways gives up on, based on his poor defense and injury potential. If he can hang around until he's 40, he has a shot. But he's not likely to receive four more contracts. Projection: No.