Monday, August 4, 2014
260 Career Home Runs
Derek Jeter currently has 259 home runs in his MLB Career. In all likelihood he will hit another one in the next week or two. Home run number 260 will move him into a tie for 188th All-Time with Tim Wallach.
Wallach and Jeter's career's briefly overlapped in '95 and '96. Wallach played one series in Yankee Stadium as a player. It was during his brief stint with the Angels in 1996. On May 17, 1996, the Yankees beat the Angels 8-5. Wallach went 0 for 3 and Jim Abbot was the losing pitcher. For the Yankees, Derek Jeter went 2 for 4 with a triple while Andy Pettite picked up the win and Mariano Rivera was credited with a save. It's hard for me to wrap my head around that, as in my mind, Wallach and that Yankee dynasty were two very different era's.
The next day, May 18, 1996, the Yankees again beat the Angles, this time by a score of 7-3. Wallach went 1 for 3 (I'd be curious to know if he kept the ball as his only hit in Yankee Stadium). Jeter went 0 for 2 with a walk, and Mariano picked up another save.
Wallach didn't play in the third game of the series, but Jeter went 0 for 3 with a walk. Also of note is that Tim Raines was the leadoff man for the Yankees in all three games. Raines had a decent series picking up 3 hits, 3 runs, and stole a couple bases.
The Yankees would also visit the Angels for a three game series during Wallach's time in California. In that series, Wallach again played in the first two games and sat out the third. In the first game he homered off of Andy Pettitte. Jeter went 0 for 5 in two games in that series, and didn't play in the second game, with Andy Fox playing short stop for the Yankees.
When Jeter hits his next home run, for perhaps the first time since Wallach retired, I'll be happy to see someone tie (and ultimately pass) him on the All-Time Home Run list. Of course, given prior history, announcers on the YES network and Baseball Tonight, will no doubt celebrate Jeter's next home run by talking about how he is now tied with Javy Lopez and Eric Chavez, while omitting Wallach's name altogether. Nevermind than neither of them are within 600 hits of Wallach's career hit total, and they combined for fewer All-Star games than Wallach appeared in. I hope I'm wrong, but I won't be surprised.
Oddly enough, the last player Derek Jeter passed on the All-Time Home Run List, was Larry Parrish. Parrish hit 256 home runs during his career. He was also the Expos third baseman prior to the arrival of Tim Wallach.