Derek Jeter's Quest for Rose's Record
I saw this discussion on another board recently. I hadn't given this much consideration, even though I knew Jeter passed 3,000 hits in the summer of 2011. Jeter currently sits at 3,304 hits. To reach Rose's 4,256 would be a difficult feat at this point, seemingly, but... consider this. Jeter is 39 hits ahead of where Pete Rose was through the same age (38). Through age 38, Jeter has 3,304 while Rose had 3,265. Through age 38, for comparison, Ty Cobb had 3,821 hits.
I can't imagine Jeter hanging on just to beat the record. His disposition, along with the amount of money he's made in his career, doesn't seem to put him in the same category as Rose in his final days with the Expos and Reds. I also can't forsee Jeter playing for another team just to beat the record. I think he has to retire as a Yankee.
On the otherhand, I can see MLB trying to push Jeter towards the record, perhaps even giving him certain incetives, as much as possible for obvious reasons. Beating Rose would take a huge black mark off baseball.
With two very attainable 150-hit seasons in 2013 and 2014, he'd be 5th all-time and just a shoestep away from 4th. With three good seasons left, he finishes 3rd easily. The biggest step is from Aaron to Cobb. Rose and Cobb are only 67 hits apart, so if Jeter makes a run at Cobb, Rose is beatable too.
Can Jeter put together six more seasons of 150 hits to challenge Rose? Or could he play five more years with a couple of 200-hit seasons and three 150-hit seasons? Where does Jeter finish? Barring injury, 3rd all-time seems attainable within three years, but at that point the Rose record becomes an interesting thought.
Pete Rose 4,256
Ty Cobb 4,189
Hank Aaron 3,771
Stan Musial 3,630
Tris Speaker 3,514
Carl Yastrzemski 3,419
Honus Wagner 3,415
Paul Molitor 3,319
Eddie Collins 3,315
Derek Jeter 3,304