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08/23/08 12:35 AM ET

Jeter connects on career hit No. 2,500

Joins Ruth, Gehrig as the only Yankees to achieve milestone

BALTIMORE -- He has 13 years of Major League service, and with one swing on Friday night, Derek Jeter solidified his legacy in one more way. In his first at-bat of the game, against rookie right-hander Radhames Liz, Jeter collected the 2,500th hit of his already storied career.

It came on the first pitch Jeter saw, a 93-mph fastball, and it was a bloop single into shallow center that caromed off second baseman Brian Roberts' glove.

"I just try to be consistent," Jeter said after the game. "Year in and year out, [I] try to be consistent and help the team win, and if you play long enough, then some of those things are attainable."

Jeter joins only Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the Yankees' 2,500-hit club -- a fact that cements even further his legacy in pinstripes -- and becomes just the seventh active player with 2,500 hits or more. He is the 88th player in the history of baseball to reach such a milestone.

The ball was taken out of play, and Jeter said it would likely end up at his parents' house, where some of his other milestone mementos have found a home.

"That's a lot of hits," said manager Joe Girardi prior to Friday's game with the Orioles. "It's a lot more than I ever imagined [getting], but I'd have to play until I was about 80. I think it's amazing. It's consistency, it's work ethic, it's health, it's talent, there's a lot of things that go into it."

Jeter's relative youth -- the shortstop is still just 34 -- puts him in position to continue moving his way up in the record books. He is the youngest active player with at least 2,500 hits, edging out teammate Ivan Rodriguez by two years in that category.

"From a hit standpoint, it's going to be a lot," Girardi said, speculating on how much Jeter could still accomplish. "When I think about Derek, I think he'll get well beyond 3,000. What does that mean -- 3,500? I don't know, but he's still got a lot of hits in there."

Amanda Comak is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.