But what about after Jeter? Is there life after Jeter? Who will be next?
Well, let's see--
1. No. 2 on the active list is Ivan Rodriguez with 2835 hits. At 39, Pudge has a semi-decent shot to get to 3000. However, playing for the Washington Nationals in the National League isn't helping his case as he is relegated to being a back-up catcher to Wilson Ramos and isn't getting enough at-bats. I do think he can muster at least 60 to 65 more hits this season, which is the final year of his contract with the Nationals. If he can get a gig in the American League next year and get plenty of at-bats as a DH, then maybe, he can squeeze out the final 100 to 105 hits he'll need for 3000.
2. No. 3 on the active list is Omar Vizquel with 2823 hits. At 44, Vizquel is playing on borrowed time and isn't getting the at-bats he needs to get the remaining 177 hits. He'll end his career hovering around 2900 and that's about it. Vizquel, however, definitely has Hall of Fame numbers for a shortstop, not to mention his 11 Gold Gloves as well. So forget the 3000 hits, Omar-- see you in Cooperstown.
3. No. 4 on the list is Alex Rodriguez with 2737 hits. At 35, A-Rod is a shoo-in. He could conceivably get his 3000th hit by the end of next season, if not, by April 2013 he should have it.
4. No. 5 on the list is Johnny Damon with 2642 hits. At 37, Damon would need 2 more seasons after this year in order to accomplish the milestone. So far he's having a great year with the Tampa Bay Rays which should earn him another one-year (quite possibly 2-year) contract after the season. Damon is still a solid hitter with 71 H, 10 HR, 34 RBI and a .282 BA so far this season. I like Johnny's chances and by September 2013 he'll be knocking on the 3000-hits' door.
So there we have it. After Jeter we have a strong possibility of seeing 3 players reach the milestone in the next two seasons after this year....