You probably already knew that Derek Jeter's 3,184th hit in last night's game tied him with Cal Ripken for 14th place on the all time hits list, but what's more important than that is where that ranks him in the history of the American League East division. Tied for 1st. Since the American League split into two divisions in 1969, four different players have accumulated 3000 hits playing for teams in the AL East. Only two other players have collected 3000 hits playing in the same division outside the AL East (George Brett in the AL West and Tony Gwynn in the NL West).
Below, after the jump, are the 20 players with the most career hits while playing for AL East teams.
|Player||Hits||AL East Team(s)|
|Derek Jeter||3184||Yankees 1995-|
|Cal Ripken||3184||Orioles 1981-2001|
|Robin Yount||3142||Brewers 1974-1993|
|Wade Boggs||3010||2082 hits for Red Sox 1982-1992
702 for Yankees 1993-1997
210 for Devil Rays 1998-1999
|Paul Molitor||2789||2281 for Brewers 1978-1992
508 for Blue Jays 1993-1995
|Jim Rice||2452||Red Sox 1974-1989|
|Dwight Evans||2446||2373 for Red Sox 1972-1990
73 for Orioles 1991
|Lou Whitaker||2369||Tigers 1977-1995|
|Alan Trammell||2365||Tigers 1977-1996|
|Bernie Williams||2336||Yankees 1991-2006|
|Cecil Cooper||2192||377 for Red Sox 1971-1976
1815 for Brewers 1977-1987
|Don Mattingly||2153||Yankees 1982-1995|
|Eddie Murray||2080||Orioles 1977-1988, 1996|
|Carl Yastrzemski||2056||Red Sox 1969*-1983|
|Joe Carter||1997||1051 for Blue Jays 1991-1997
876 for Indians 1984-1988
70 for Orioles 1998
|B.J. Surhoff||1968||896 for Brewers 1987-1993**
1072 for Orioles 1996-2000, 2003-2005
|Willie Randolph||1872||1731 for Yankees 1976-1988
141 for Brewers 1991
|Graig Nettles||1822||1396 Yankees 1973-1983
426 Indians 1970-1972
|Jim Gantner||1696||Brewers 1976-1992|
|Tony Fernandez||1677||1583 for Blue Jays 1983-1990, 1998-1999
94 Yankees 1995
*- Yastrzemski obviously had 3,419 career hits for the Red Sox but 1,363 of them were occurred between 1961 and 1968, before the East division existed. So we can't count those toward the AL East record
**- Surhoff played for the Brewers until 1995, and had another 168 hits for them in those two years, but the Brewers moved to the AL Central in 1994, so those years don't count toward his AL East hit total.
Nobody really keeps records by division at the official level (as far as I know), but I think they should. Jeter is still 6 away from the most important AL East record though - Don Baylor's 165 HBPs. Baylor got hit 46 times for the Orioles, 60 times for the Yankees and 59 times for the Red Sox. Baylor is the only player ever to get hit 40 times for three different teams in the same division. Jeter's 1 HBP this season leave me wondering about his commitment to reach that particular record though.
Back to the Hits category though, you might notice that Jeter is the only active player on the above list. If you want to find his closest active competition in AL East hits, you have to go all the way down to 27th place. Vernon Wells has the 27th most hits in AL East history with 1,529, and Johnny Damon is in 28th with 1,518. Neither of them currently play in the division, but they could always move back to an AL East team and add to those totals. Certainly not enough to threaten Jeter's impending record though. Among players still in the AL East, the next closest is David Ortiz with 1,451. Not much of a threat to the 3,000 mark there either. Behind him are Brian Roberts of the Orioles at 1,386 and the Yankees own Robinson Cano at 1,351.
Given all that, and that Jeter seems far from finished adding to this total, it looks like there's a good chance we won't see this record broken for a long long time.
For those of you who are curious who leads the league's other divisions, and since you probably won't find the answer anyplace else, here they are.
AL West: George Brett - 3,154 (Ichiro is the active leader at 2,514)
NL East: Chipper Jones - 2,650
NL West: Tony Gwynn - 3,141 (Todd Helton is up to 2,414)