Team-by-team hit leaders
|Here is a look at the hit leaders for all 30 Major League clubs, through games of Sept. 11, 2009:|
|Red Sox||Carl Yastrzemski*||3,419|
|Orioles||Cal Ripken Jr.*||3,184|
|White Sox||Luke Appling*||2,749|
|Blue Jays||Tony Fernandez||1,583|
|* Member of the Hall of Fame|
Now consider that, historically, 27 players have collected 3,000-plus hits -- yet, while 17 club record holders are Hall of Famers, only 12 of them are at that plateau.This trend places the Yankees in the majority, whatever factors at work. If in the past they have reloaded in pursuit of their annual Holy Grail of a World Series championship, and thereby dealt away players with 3,000-hit destiny, they aren't alone. But that isn't what has transpired, because no one who eventually reached 3,000 hits started out as a Yankee. The Yankees have included three of those 15 players who made the rounds on their way to 3,000 hits, but each was signed as a free agent deep into his career: Dave Winfield came from the Padres with 1,134 hits, Rickey Henderson from the A's with 850 and Wade Boggs from the Red Sox with 2,098. It can be argued that the Yankees' history would already include that 3,000-hit man if not for their Murderers Row reputation, and for one tragic stroke of fate. American League pitchers didn't want to mess with Gehrig, who averaged more walks per season (94) than any of the 3,000-hit men (yes, even more than Henderson). And when benched permanently by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 1939, Gehrig was only 35 -- the same age as is Jeter. Were it not for the same aversion, incidentally, Babe Ruth, too, could have 3,000 hits. He had 2,518 of them with the Yankees, while being walked an average of 123 times each season.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.