In Major League Baseball amassing 3000 hits is a stunning accomplishment ofexcellence and consistency for an extended period of time. To put it another way it takes 200 hits per year for FIFTEEN years to accomplish. Most major leaguers don’t even play for 10 years. Heck, according to ScienceDaily.com the average career is only 5.6 years. I guess that’s why only 28 players have accomplished this feat. For me, it makes what Pete Rose and Ty Cobb accomplished, surpassing 4000 hits, simply astounding. Recently, Derek Jeter became the newest member of the 3000 hit club and it seemed much more meaningful than when A-Rod hit his 600th homerun.
PED’s have taken the magic away from the longball, which is depressing me, just thinking it. How many of us remember going to a game as a kid and watching your favorite player knock one out. For me that player was Don Mattingly, for others maybe Ted Williams or Stan Musial, maybe Harmen Killebrew. In any case, it was thrilling. Now, I hear people say after a homer, “It was the juice, that guy only has warning track power on his own.”
500 home runs used to almost guarantee a trip to the hall of fame. For the guys that have done it in the past 15 years what does it mean for them? It means lots of questions. Did he use? Did he admit using? Should it matter if he used? Can I vote someone into the HOF that cheated? 500 home runs is not as meaningful as it used to be. 3000 hits still is.
500 homers and 3000 hits were the last milestones that bridged generations and caused more than one argument between fathers and sons. There really can’t be anymore arguments about who was better in the 500 homer club. Guys with 3000 hits, yeah you can still debate if Jeter is better than Yount or Boggs. Is Rose the best hitter ever, (not only do I think he is, I think it is an absolute disgrace that he is not enshrined in Cooperstown) or maybe Ty Cobb or Rogers Hornsby.
To end this rambling mess, 3000 hits IS the last milestone where the modern player achieving it can be readily compared to players of the past. The only other milestone you could use was 500 homers but with PED’s beig so prevalent today homers are no longer comparable between generations.