3. Jeter’s 3,000th Hit
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit was classically improbable.
Once again, another spotlight moment for Jeter that was so out of character it ended up cycling back around to be entirely in character.
Jeter never hit more than 24 home runs in a single season, and only drilled six in total in 2011, so naturally, he took one of the league’s best lefties in David Price deep for hit No. 3,000.
Of course, he didn’t start that day at 2,999, nor did he end it at 3,000. In lockstep with the rest of his career trajectory, he celebrated a singular moment in the spotlight, took a bow, and then kept on ticking. Needing two hits to reach the milestone (following a rainout the day prior — and I would know, I rode a Metro North all the way to Yankee Stadium only to hustle on StubHub and turn immediately back around), he instead delivered five, including the game-winning single in the eighth.
2011 was a campaign held together by gum and masking tape for the Yankees, relying on starters like Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon to match Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander in October. Jeter had begun to fall off a bit, too, at age 37, but only comparatively, still hitting .297 and playing in 131 games.
Luckily, though, things got easier for David Price in the years to come, and he never got taken deep at Yankee Stadium ever again.