Derek Jeter had no idea what was going on. He was already dressed in his suit, sitting at his locker, gathering his things to leave. Then he turned to find a group of reporters standing all around him, and Jeter actually asked why we were there. Someone had to tell him he’d passed George Brett on baseball’s all-time hits list.
“It goes without saying how great of a player he is,” Jeter said. “I’ve always had a lot of respect for George Brett and what he was able to accomplish. I was aware of it a few days ago, but we’re out there trying to win games, so I’m not up there thinking about who I could pass or anything like that. … It’s humbling when you hear those names, because any name you pass, there’s a Hall of Fame guy. It’s pretty special, but I’m not thinking about it, and I haven’t thought about it.”
When Jeter singled in the first innning, the Yankees released a statement from Brett.
“I’m always kind of bummed out when guys pass you because you had your own place in the records book for a while, and I had that one there for a while,” Brett said. “But a guy like Derek comes around and passes you, really, I think it all depends on the type of person that did it. I have the upmost respect for him. I’ve only met him one time, very briefly, but for a guy to play as long as he has in New York, and I’ve never heard one bad thing said about the guy, he’s definitely a team player, he’s a clutch player. He’s been the backbone of this organization for a long, long time and when a guy like that passes you, I’d like to shake his hand and look him in the eye and say congratulations.”
Up next on the hits list is Cal Ripken Jr.
“My job is to get hits, get on base, score runs,” Jeter said. “That’s always been the job. I just try to be as consistent as possible.”
Associated Press photo