Every day, it seems, Derek Jeter is setting some record or achieving a milestone.
Recently, he scored his 1,800th career run to pass Ted Williams for 17th on the all-time list.
Already this season, the 37-year-old Yankees captain has passed Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Robin Yount, Paul Waner and George Brett to climb into 14th on the hits list with 3,171.
Soon, another countdown will begin. Jeter needs 113 hits to pass the Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays (3,283), to move into the top 10.
At the start of the season, Jeter needed 196 hits to pass Mays. Certainly that mark was doable, but he would need significant improvement over the last two years when he had 179 and 162 hits, respectively.
Of course, he only played in 131 games last season due to a strained left calf, his lowest total since seeing action in 119 contests in 2003, and skipped the All-Star Game after collecting his 3,000th career hit, which led to some rare criticism for the face of the Yankees.
But that injury actually might have rejunevated his career. He batted .387 in August and .303 in September to finish the year at .297, a marked improvement from 2010, when he hit a career-low .270.
While Jeter has cooled off somewhat after hitting .389 in April, he pretty much has picked up where he left off last season and is on pace for 217 hits, which would be his eighth 200-hit season and second-highest single-season total (219 in 1999).
If he continues on that pace, he will easily pass Mays. Jeter has 83 hits so far this season.
The biggest thing that has stood out about Jeter over the years has been his consistency as he is averaging 1.275 hits per game.
As a comparison, Pete Rose, the all-time hit leader with 4,256, averaged 1.19 hits per game as a .303 career hitter, 10 points below Jeter (.313).
Cal Ripken, who is next on the hit list with 3,184, averaged 1.06 hits per contest. Eddie Murray, who is 11th with 3,255, averaged 1.07. Ripken and Murray played more than 3,000 games, Jeter (2,487) is approaching his 2,500th game.
If Jeter averages just one hit per game through his current contract, he will end the 2013 season sixth on the all-time list with a decent chance to pass Carl Yastrezemski (3,419) for fifth.
So, we ask the question again: Can Jeter make a run at Rose's all-time hit record of 4,256?
Conservatively speaking, let's say Jeter gets another 100 hits this season. That would put him at 3,271, leaving him just under 1,000 behind Rose's mark.
To get another 1,000 hits, Jeter would have to play six more years, averaging 167 hits per season, which is about one per game, to pass Rose at the age of 44.
Conceivably, it is possible, but how much longer will Jeter want to play after his contract expires? He will be 39 next year.
Rose played until age 45 because he was obsessed with breaking Ty Cobb's record. Jeter will not keep playing
to break records. That simply isn't in his DNA.
For now, Jeter can set his sights on the top 10. Passing Mays certainly would be another feather in the cap of his Hall of Fame career.
That pursuit, if Jeter draws close, would produce some excitement in September. Mays, after all, is one of the most iconic names in baseball history.