A day after 3,000, Yanks SS Jeter returns to work

The morning after celebrating his 3,000th hit with friends and

family, Derek Jeter was back at work.

At 11:42 a.m., Jeter walked out into the public part of the

Yankees clubhouse wearing a navy University of Michigan T-shirt,

blue jeans and white sneakers. He grabbed a towel, chatted briefly

with some team employees, then sat down at his locker to talk to a

waiting horde of reporters.

Among the questions he faced after a night of celebrating: So

just how heartily does one party after becoming the only Yankees

player in the 3,000-hit club?

”Not too much,” Jeter said, grinning gently. ”I don’t really

recover like I used to.”

Besides, with Alex Rodriguez among several Yankees out with

injuries, he knew manager Joe Girardi would be putting him right

back in the lineup.

When he wasn’t being quizzed on his activities from the night

before, he was repeatedly asked about the disposition of

memorabilia from the game, and the messages he got from other

ballplayers to get 3,000 hits.

As he has been since he was a rookie, Jeter was all

business.

”It’s hard to sit here and think about yesterday,” he said.

”We’ve got a game in an hour.”

When it started, and Jeter led off the bottom of the first

inning, the crowd at Yankee Stadium stood and gave him a warm

ovation while he went through his usual routine before stepping

in.

In the third, Jeter got a bunt single. That’s hit No. 3,004, if

you’re counting.

Otherwise, it was just another day at the ballpark.

The day before was pretty memorable, though.

Jeter got hit No. 2,999 in the first inning, meaning every

at-bat that followed was going to be full of potential.

Or not.

The next time up, Jeter homered deep into the left-field

bleachers for his 3,000th career hit, tying the game at 1.

He got a hit his next time up, too. And the one after that. And

then, finally, in the eighth inning, he got one more. A single that

brought home the go-ahead run in a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay

Rays.

”Just one of those special days,” Jeter said at the time.

”You want to hit the ball hard,” he said. ”I didn’t want to

hit a slow roller to third base and have it be replayed

forever.”

Another five-hit day – it tied his career high – and he would

pas Al Kaline for 26th in major league history. At No. 25 with

3,010 hits is former teammate Wade Boggs, the only other player

whose 3,000th hit was a home run.

But none of the hits that follow holds the cachet of that nice

round number: 3,000.

And those probably wouldn’t earn him a hug from Yogi Berra,

either. Saturday, after Jeter got the hit, Berra said he was so

proud of Jeter, he wanted to ”give him a big hug.”

”Yeah, he got me when I came around the corner,” Jeter said,

laughing. ”It’s always good to see Yogi.”