“HISTORY: Gehrig & Jeter"
Even if your are not a fan of the New York Yankees, if you are a fan of the game at all then you have to respect the Yankees history, because it is baseball’s history. Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest players to ever grip an ash bat, or red-stitched ball donning a Major League Baseball uniform. The A.L.S. – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – disease, that has since been named Lou Gehrig’s Diesease, cut short the career one of the most charismatic and influential people to ever grace the baseball diamond in 1939.
Lou Gehrig is perhaps most famous for his record of playing in 2,130 games consecutively, which was a feat that lasted for over fifty years and was only broken in 1995, by Cal Ripken Jr. The incredible man, who wore number 4, was the first person in the history of baseball to have his number permanently retired by a team, and in 1939 he was the youngest player ever voted into the M.L.B. Hall of Fame.
Gehrig’s record as the Yankees all-time hits leader, with 2,721, has just been broken by the fifteen-year veteran shortstop Derek Jeter. The 35 year old is now on pace to beat out (80 hits ahead) the M.L.B. all-time hits leader Pete Rose and, unlike Gehrig whose disease ended his career at the age of 36, if Jeter remains healthy and continues to play at a high level then he could very well become baseball’s next all-time hits leader.
Rose’s record is one that few could ever imagine being threatened a couple of seasons ago, as was Gehrig’s team hits record with the Yankees. On the evening of Friday, September 11, 2009, before a sold out crowd at Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter struck his 2,722 hit. The man has never stopped being a clutch hitter and he has played the game the right way ever since he got to New York.
Derek Jeter emerged as a sensational ballplayer in his first full season at starting shortstop for the Yankees in 1996 and the team would later go on to win the World Series in the 1996-2000 seasons. His leadership skills immediately made him impact his team on and off the field and “the Captain” as he is referred has often exemplified what it means to be a great ballplayer and man, as Gehrig also did throughout his life. Congratulations Derek Jeter, somewhere out there Lou Gehrig is smiling for you.
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