08/16/09 8:50 PM ET
Jeter sets all-time shortstop hits mark
Veteran Yankee passes Aparicio with 2,674th knock at short
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
With a three-hit performance in the Bombers' 10-3 loss to the Mariners on Sunday at Safeco Field, Jeter surpassed Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio in becoming the all-time Major League leader in hits as a shortstop.
"It was kind of hard to believe," Jeter said. "I just try to be consistent year in and year out. I think if you're consistent, then good things happen."
Jeter entered the afternoon trailing Aparicio (2,673) by one hit, but tied the former 18-year big league vet with a first-inning single to right field off Seattle right-hander Doug Fister.
The career Yankee stood alone after his next at-bat, a run-scoring double to right field off Fister that drove home Ramiro Pena with the first run of the game.
Jeter also added a bloop single to right field off Fister in the seventh inning to finish the afternoon 3-for-4 and with 2,675 hits as a shortstop. He also has 13 hits as a designated hitter in a Major League career that began in 1995.
"It's amazing what he's been able to accomplish, and he's still got a lot of baseball left," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "A lot of guys, when they try to get that record, it takes them a while. It didn't take him long today."
Jeter's place may not be completely secure -- the still-active Omar Vizquel of the Rangers has 2,669 hits as a shortstop.
"I don't ever sit around and look back on anything that we've done," Jeter said. "It's just more of what you can do to try and improve. That's what you try to do, year in and year out.
"I think being consistent is something that gets overlooked at times, but I think every player strives to be consistent. That's all you can do."
Regardless of what jockeying may occur in the future, Jeter said that he was proud to have played for so long at a position where many before him have had to move later in their careers.
Perhaps the most prominent example is Cal Ripken Jr., who notched 2,479 of his 3,184 hits as a shortstop. Ripken effectively abandoned shortstop for the Orioles after the 1996 season at the age of 36, but Jeter -- who turned 35 in June -- has no plans of moving elsewhere on the diamond.
"I think I have a few hits left in me," Jeter said. "You're going to have good years and you're going to have bad years. I think you have to take care of yourself and you have to put in a lot of work. I've been fortunate, but hopefully I have a few years left playing short."
With 2,688 hits over his 15-year career with the Yankees, Jeter is within 33 safeties of tying Lou Gehrig's franchise mark. He said that he would prefer to talk about that accomplishment if -- not when -- it happens, but acknowledged that it would be particularly meaningful.
"As a Yankee fan growing up, I played my whole career here," Jeter said. "Anytime there's a record that's involved with the Yankees, it's special. We all like to be a part of history."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.