Let’s put Derek Jeter and Lou Gehrig in perspective. When I was a kid in the 1960s, I was a big National League fan because in those days the N.L. was far more interesting than the so-called “Junior Circuit.” The National League had fast and graceful players like Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron and Frank Robisnon.
The American League was slow in all ways– slow on the base paths and slow to accept black players.
A guy I liked was Vada Pinson, a fleet-footed center fielder who had a 17-year career that was mostly spent with the Reds before the “Big Red Machine” days. Pinson could’ve been a super star, but he faded at an early age and never accrued the big power stats of the other great outfielders of his era who made it into the Hall of Fame.
But here’s the point: Pinson had 2,757 lifetime hits– 36 hits more than Gehrig and Jeter, who are getting so much attention these days. And nobody talks about Pinson anymore.