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Monday, May 30, 2011
Jeter's road to 3,000 started 16 years ago


Derek Jeter
Jeter
On May 30, 1995, Derek Jeter got his first major-league hit, a fifth-inning single against Mariners starter Tim Belcher. Many more hits would follow and now Jeter is on the verge of 3,000 hits.

Jeter made his debut on May 29 and here’s what his then-manager told the New York media upon his arrival.

"I'm anxious to see the way he handles himself in the clubhouse up here," said Buck Showalter. "That was one of the things that impressed me about Derek when I got to follow him the end of last year. He is very mature for his age. I don't want to get into what Derek has to do to stay up. We want him to relax and do what he's capable of doing. We hope Derek makes us a better club."

What was the baseball world like the day Jeter got his first MLB hit?

• The Yankees were in the midst of a horrible slump. From May 13 to June 10, they lost 19 of 24 games to fall from first place to fifth place in the AL East. One of those losses was on May 30, a game the Yankees led 3-2 heading into the eighth inning, but a trio of pitchers allowed four runs in the bottom of the inning and they lost 7-3 to the Mariners.

• Alex Rodriguez had zero career homers (he hit his first on June 12).

• Mariano Rivera had zero career saves. He did have one career win (on May 28 vs the Athletics).

• Jorge Posada was in his second season at Triple-A Columbus. He would make his major-league debut on September 4, 1995, when he entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning (his first major-league at-bat would come in April 1996).

• The Red Sox were in first place in the AL East. Tim Wakefield won his second game of the season and 16th of his career on May 30 (he finished 16-8 and third in AL Cy Young voting in 1995).

• The Phillies had the best record in baseball (23-8). The Indians had the best record in the AL (20-9). Sound familiar?

• There were 28 teams, but only 13 of the current stadiums were used for baseball. Coors Field was in its first season, Jacobs Field its second, Camden Yards its fourth.

• Barry Bonds hit home run number 267 that day at Montréal.

• Cal Ripken played game number 2,039 of his consecutive games played streak and was 3-for-4 with a double (coincidentally, May 30, 1982 was the first game of the streak).

How about some of our current ESPN analysts?

• Barry Larkin won the MVP in '95. The Reds won at Pittsburgh on May 30, but Barry went 0-for-5 (one of just three 0-for-5 days he had that year).

• John Kruk was playing in his final season, with the White Sox. He went 0-for-2 with two walks on May 30, dropping his average to a season-low .231.

• Aaron Boone was playing for the Winston-Salem Warthogs, a High-A Reds affiliate in the Carolina League.

• Chris Singleton was in his second season with the San Jose Giants, a High-A team in the California League.

• Nomar Garciaparra was a member of the double-A Trenton Thunder, which was then the Red Sox affiliate.

Katie Sharp, Doug Kern and Mark Simon contributed to this post