Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2,500 For Johnny Damon and Counting....

Congrats to Johnny Damon, who last night got his 2,500th career hit and then followed his milestone hit with a memorable walk-off home run, which sealed a 7-5 victory for the Detroit Tigers over the Baltimore Orioles.

After the game, Damon said, "The ball from my 2,500th hit is going in the trophy case, but No. 2,501 is the one I'm going to remember for a long time. Hitting a homer in a situation like that never gets old."

And its also no secret that Damon is eyeing the coveted 3,000 hit mark, which would no doubt be his one-way ticket to the Hall of Fame. Personally, I've always believed Damon is a 3000-hit man and my "guesstimation" (assuming he stays healthy) is that he should get it by August 2013 at age 39. And Damon is not alone--

Others who are knocking on the 3,000-hits door are:
  • Derek Jeter (2,843): Jeter is a no-brainer and should have it by no later than June 2011. If he hangs around and plays until he's 42, he should have his 4,000th hit in 2016.
  • Ivan Rodriguez (2,771): At 38, Pudge is cutting it close, but I think he'll stick around for it. He could conceivably do it by late September 2011 or early during the 2012 season, which would probably be his last season.
  • Alex Rodriguez (2,610): Another no-brainer. A-Rod is 34 and most likely will reach 3,000 during the 2012 season.

On the bubble:

  • Manny Ramirez (2,553): Ramirez is 38 and would need at least 3 seasons after this year to get it done. If he can muster 3 more seasons, he may be able to do it in 2013 along with Damon. But right now it seems like a long shot.
  • Vladimir Guerrero (2,348): Vlad is another long shot at 35, but if he can DH for another 4 seasons, he'll come within reach and maybe hang around until he gets it.
  • Edgar Renteria (2,224): YES, Edgar Renteria. I actually like Renteria's chances because he's only 33. Renteria is not regarded as a hitting machine, but remember, he's been playing full-time since he was 19 and he's usually good for 150-160 hits. So if he can continue having a full-time gig for another 5 seasons or so, he should be able to get it done.
  • Miguel Tejada (2,204): Tejada is another long shot at 36. But he's still playing full-time and is still capable of getting 170-180 hits. So I'm not going to fall asleep on Tejada just yet.

But right now, Derek Jeter is on the clock.

To be continued....

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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