NEW YORK — Wade Boggs was the one person in the world before Saturday who knew what it was like to reach 3,000 hits with a home run.
And he might have been the only one who wasn't surprised to see Derek Jeter become the second.
"I pretty much expected it," Boggs said, "because he's Derek Jeter."
Boggs reached his milestone wearing the uniform of his hometown Devil Rays on Aug. 7, 1999, at Tropicana Field. He made the third of his three hits that day memorable with a blast to rightfield, then took a dramatic trip around the bases, which ended with him dropping to his knees to kiss home plate.
Boggs was out in Tampa on Saturday afternoon when Jeter hit his homer and quickly watched a replay. Though acknowledging "I don't think anyone expects to hit a home run for their 3,000th hit," he said he figured the Yankee would do something more special than a single to rightfield.
"That's not New York style," he said. "You've got to do it with flair."
Boggs said he knew from playing alongside Jeter during the shortstop's first three seasons, 1995-97, he was destined for greatness given the consistency of his swing.
"Good for him. I'm proud of him," Boggs said. "I knew it was just a matter of time."
Nearly a dozen people who were at the Trop for Boggs' hit were also at Yankee Stadium on Saturday: Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who was the Rays' manager; Yankees TV analyst John Flaherty and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, who were Boggs' teammates; Rays TV analyst Dewayne Staats and Yankee Stadium PA announcer Paul Olden, who were broadcasting Boggs' game; a few Rays staff members and a couple of newspaper writers.
"(Jeter) hit the ball, and I was like, 'Oh my, a home run,' " Martinez said. "It was special because I was Boggs' teammate when he did it, and this is special also because I was here and got to see it after playing against (Jeter) for so many years."
None had the view either time of Matt Joyce, who was a 15-year-old sitting in the Trop behind first base for Boggs' blast to right and standing in leftfield Saturday watching Jeter's ball go over the fence.
"It's pretty amazing," Joyce said. "I've got to be one of the very, very few."
Boggs, who went into the Hall of Fame in 2005, said he doesn't mind sharing his previously unique distinction with Jeter: "Makes me famous again."