Derek Jeter and shortstops 39 years and older

by Bill Chuck on February 18, 2013

Derek Jeter seems to be successfully recovering from his significant ankle break in which he collapsed on the field in the 2012 postseason as he works his way towards Opening Day against the Boston Red Sox, who are still attempting to recover from their September 2011 collapse.

The other hurdle Jeter is facing this spring, is that on June 26 he is turning 39. Perhaps its my never-ending respect for Jeter, but the Captain’s age worries me less in his ability to perform than many players five years his junior.

Having said that (Larry David‘s least favorite phrase), there are a limited number of players who have played short aged 39 and older.

Here’s the list of shortstops based on their age as of June 30

Rk Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA
1 Barry Larkin 2004 40 CIN 111 346 55 100 15 3 8 44 2 .289
2 Barry Larkin 2003 39 CIN 70 241 39 68 16 1 2 18 2 .282
3 Bill Dahlen 1911 41 BRO 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
4 Billy Jurges 1947 39 CHC 14 40 5 8 2 0 1 2 0 .200
5 Bobby Wallace 1915 41 SLB 9 13 1 3 0 1 0 4 0 .231
6 Bones Ely 1902 39 WSH 105 381 39 100 11 2 1 62 3 .262
7 Dave Bancroft 1930 39 NYG 10 17 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 .059
8 George McBride 1920 39 WSH 13 41 6 9 1 0 0 3 0 .220
9 Honus Wagner 1913 39 PIT 114 413 51 124 18 4 3 56 21 .300
10 Larry Bowa 1985 39 TOT 86 214 15 50 7 4 0 15 5 .234
11 Luis Aparicio 1973 39 BOS 132 499 56 135 17 1 0 49 13 .271
12 Luke Appling 1946 39 CHW 149 582 59 180 27 5 1 55 6 .309
13 Luke Appling 1947 40 CHW 139 503 67 154 29 0 8 49 8 .306
14 Luke Appling 1949 42 CHW 142 492 82 148 21 5 5 58 7 .301
15 Omar Vizquel 2007 40 SFG 145 513 54 126 18 3 4 51 14 .246
16 Omar Vizquel 2006 39 SFG 153 579 88 171 22 10 4 58 24 .295
17 Omar Vizquel 2008 41 SFG 92 266 24 59 10 1 0 23 5 .222
18 Ozzie Smith 1994 39 STL 98 381 51 100 18 3 3 30 6 .262
19 Ozzie Smith 1996 41 STL 82 227 36 64 10 2 2 18 7 .282
20 Ozzie Smith 1995 40 STL 44 156 16 31 5 1 0 11 4 .199
21 Rabbit Maranville 1931 39 BSN 145 562 69 146 22 5 0 33 9 .260
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/18/2013.

NB

If you add the 482 Luke Appling listed hits (through age 42), Jeter’s  current total of 3304, he would have 3786 hits which would enable him to pass Hank Aaron (3771) for third place on the all-time hits list, but still leave him 470 hits shy of record-holding Pete Rose‘s total of 4256.

Having said that, missing is Appling’s 1948 season when Old Aches and Pains, played 139 games but not 90% at shortstop, which is my basis for this list. In that season, Appling had 156 hits and when we add that total to Jeter’s numbers, he still falls shy of 4000 hits at 3942.

  • In order for Jeter to reach 4257 hits, he needs 953 more hits, or an average of 190.6 hits over the next five seasons.
  • In order for Jeter to reach 4000 hits, he needs 696 more hits, or an average of 174 hits over the next four seasons or 139.2 hits over the next five seasons.

Having said that, Jeter has averaged 624 at bats over the last five seasons and 190 hits (.304).

Since we are playing with meaningless hypotheticals, for argument’s sake let’s say that Jeter averages 600 at bats over the next four seasons.

  • If that happens and Jeter gets 174 hits, he would have to average .290 a season.
  • If he drops down to an average of 550 at bats and 139 hits over five seasons, he would average .253 a season, a number that I think that Jeter would find not worth the reward of getting 4000 hits and not even consider Rose’s record.

 

Support Billy-Ball.com and the Bill Chuck Files
Share

Previous post:

Next post: