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Derek Sanderson Jeter
(Captain Clutch)

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Contents

[edit] Biography

[edit] Introduction

"Now batting for the New York Yankees, No. 2 Derek Jeter, No. 2" - Bob Sheppard

Derek Jeter, who has played shortstop for the New York Yankees for twenty years with a lifetime .312 batting average at the start of 2014, reached the 3,000 hit mark in 2011. He came very close to winning the MVP Award in 2006 when he finished a close second to Justin Morneau, getting 12 first-place votes compared to 15 for Morneau, whose team came from far behind to win the division. A former Rookie of the Year and fourteen-time All-Star, Jeter is in good company since the similarity scores method shows the most similar players to Jeter (through 2014) include six Hall of Famers and several other players who are strong candidates for the Hall, although none of them is truly similar, which is the sign of an exceptionally good player.

[edit] Early life

Derek Jeter was born in Pequannock, New Jersey to Charles and Dorothy Jeter; however, most of his childhood was spent in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is of mixed race. Jeter grew up as a Yankee fan, going to Yankee games in the summers that he spent with his grandmother in New Jersey. Jeter was a star baseball player at Kalamazoo Central High School, where he also played basketball, and in 1992 he was named High School Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Although he received a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Michigan, he followed his dream of playing for the New York Yankees after they drafted him with the 6th pick overall in the 1992 amateur draft. However, after the 1992 Summer League he did attend the University of Michigan.

[edit] Pro baseball accomplishments

Jeter was named Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year as well as Florida State League MVP in 1994 and made his major league debut on May 29, 1995, just a month before turning 21. He showed enough talent to replace incumbent Yankee shortstop Tony Fernandez and earn a starting spot on the team in 1996. It didn't take long for the Yankee faithful to take to Jeter, as he earned Rookie of the Year honors by having a solid all-around year in which he hit .314. He saved his best for the postseason, where he batted .361 in 15 playoff games en route to the Yankees' first world title in 18 years. One of Jeter's biggest hits that postseason, a home run he hit in the 8th inning of Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, proved both memorable and controversial. Jeter lined an outside pitch from Baltimore Orioles pitcher Armando Benitez into the right-field seats for a game-tying home run. However, replays clearly showed that 12-year-old Yankee fan Jeffrey Maier reached over the wall into the field of play and caught the ball, thereby depriving Oriole outfielder Tony Tarasco the opportunity of making a play. Despite protests from the Orioles, the home run call was upheld, which allowed the Yankees to tie and eventually win the game in extra innings. It was around this time he got the nickname Captain Intangibles.

DerekJeter.jpg

During his rookie season the young shortstop gained instant fame and soon became a regular subject in the local newspapers' gossip columns. A highly eligible bachelor in New York with matinee idol looks, his love life became a hot topic among the press, most notably his relationship in 1998 with pop star Mariah Carey. Despite being fiercely protective of his privacy, Jeter's dating status has continued to receive intense coverage. Jeter has been linked romantically to former Miss Universe Lara Dutta, actresses Jordana Brewster, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba, and MTV personality Vanessa Minnillo, among others.

Despite all the media attention, Jeter continued to produce on the field. During the Yankees' 1998 campaign in which they won 114 games, he batted .324, led the American League with 127 runs, made his first All-Star appearance, and placed third in the AL MVP voting.

1999 showed more progress, as Jeter reached career highs in batting average, home runs, RBIs and walks, and led the AL in hits with 219. During the 2000 season, he was voted the MVP of the 2000 All-Star Game, and then World Series MVP, as the Yankees defeated the New York Mets in the Subway Series.

Yankee superstars A-Rod (left) and Jeter.

From 2004 to 2006 Jeter won the American League Gold Glove Award three consecutive years. In January of 2005, he was voted the best baserunner in baseball by ESPN.com. In 2006 and 2007, Jeter put together a remarkable hitting streak that was barely noticed at the time: over the span of 61 games from August 20, 2006 to the second game of the May 3, 2007 doubleheader, he collected at least one base hit in 59 games, putting together hitting streaks of 25, 14 and 20 games only interrupted by two hitless games. He was thus the first hitter since Joe DiMaggio's record hitting streak of 56 consecutive games in 1941 to come within two games of matching his feat; in fact, no batter other than DiMaggio had hit in 54 of 56 games in the entire 20th Century (a number did in the 19th Century, the last being Ed Delahanty in 1899).

After a disappointing season for both him and the Yankees in 2008, Jeter came back strong in 2009, batting .334 with 212 hits, 27 doubles, 18 homers and 107 runs. He won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award at shortstop, then was one of the keys to the Yankees winning their first Championship since 2000. He batted .407 in the World Series as the Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 4 games to 2. During the season, he passed Lou Gehrig for most hits in franchise history. He also had the most hits in history by a shortstop, with 2904 at the end of 2010.

After the 2010 season, he signed another three-year contract with the Yankees, worth $51 million, with an option for a fourth year at $8 million. It was considered at the time that this would retire after the contract's expiration. Asked by reporters about the length of the deal, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said that he expected Jeter to move to the outfield at some point during that four-year period, but that move never took place. Back in the leadoff spot to start the 2011 season, his quest to be the first Yankee to reach 3000 hits soon became one of the biggest stories in major league baseball, along with talk that he was perhaps slipping, both in terms of batting average and power. With Jeter only 6 hits away from the milestone, he suffered a setback on June 14th, straining a calf muscle and missing three weeks of action. After a short rehabilitation stay with AA Trenton, he was back in the line-up on July 4th. In spite of the time missed, he was voted the starting American League shortstop for the 2011 All-Star Game, his 12th trip to the mid-summer classic, but a few observers pointed out that the Yankees played extremely well without him, going 14-4 and claiming back first place, with Brett Gardner excelling in the lead-off spot and Curtis Granderson staking claim to the number 2 spot. He got hit number 3000 on July 9th with a homer off Tampa Bay's David Price in front of hometown fans, part of a five-hit day. He slowly raised his average after that and was at .299 on August 28th when he reached another milestone. In playing his 2402nd game, he passed Mickey Mantle for most in Yankees history. He finished the season at .297 in 131 games, with 162 hits. Only in 2003, when he was injured on opening day and missed 6 weeks of action as a result, had he played fewer games, leading to speculation that his remarkable durability may be coming to an end at age 37.

Jeter showed no sign of slowing down in 2012, however, as he was named to the All-Star team for the 13th time, while more than ever being the Yankees' on-field leader, with the retirement of Jorge Posada the preceding off-season and an early-season injury to Mariano Rivera. On August 11th, he collected his league-leading 150th hit, making him only the second player after Hank Aaron to collect 150 hits in 17 straight season. A few days later, on August 17th, he hit the 250th homer of his career, a solo shot off Franklin Morales of the Red Sox in a 6 - 4 win over the Yankees' traditional rivals. He finished the year with a .316 average and an AL-leading 216 hits, while scoring 99 runs. The Yankees won another division title, despite being locked in a tight race with the Baltimore Orioles until the last day of the season. He hit .364 as the Yankees defeated the Orioles in five games in the ALDS, but in Game 1 of the ALCS agains the Detroit Tigers on October 13th, he broke his ankle while fielding a ground ball in the 12th inning. Ironically, he had become the first player to collect 200 postseason hits in his career earlier in that game; he was miles ahead of anyone else in baseball history at that point, with retired long-time teammate Bernie Williams a distant second with 128 hits. With him out of the line-up, the Yankees were swept in four games, and he underwent surgery on his ankle on October 20th.

He was back for spring training in 2013 but had to miss a number of games because of discomfort in his ankle, one of a number of injuries that hit the Yankees that spring. Ominously, the Yankees decided on March 21st not to play Jeter in any further spring games, in order to be able to back-date a stint on the disabled list to that date were he not ready to start on Opening Day. But not only did he miss opening day, on April 18th x-rays revealed a new crack in his surgically repaired ankle, and as a result he would not be back until the second half of the season. He only was cleared to begin a rehabilitation assignment in the minors on July 6th, by which point the Yankees had had to scour all over the place to find players to start at shortstop on the big league club, with Eduardo Nunez, Jayson Nix, Reid Brignac, Alberto Gonzalez and Luis Cruz all logging starts at his old position. He made his return to New Yankee Stadium earlier than expected, as after only four minor league games, he was called back on July 11th and inserted in the starting line-up at DH against the Kansas City Royals. CF Brett Gardner and DH Travis Hafner had both been injured in the previous night's game, prompting the change of plans. Batting second, Jeter singled on the first pitch he saw from Ervin Santana and came in to score. He later added an RBI in going 1 for 4, but had to leave after the 5th inning with a tight quad muscle, an injury that forced him to sit out until the end of the All-Star break and then placed him back on the disabled list retroactive to July 12th. He was back in the line-up on July 28th and - lo and behold - he homered on the first pitch by Rays starter Matt Moore as the slumping Yankees won, 6-5. But after playing only four games, he aggravated a calf strain in what was becoming an increasingly frustrating season. He told reporters on August 4th: "It's been terrible. It's been like a nightmare. The whole season has been a nightmare." Indeed, he was placed on the DL the next day and did not play again that year, finishing at .190/.288/.254 in only 17 games.

Heading into spring training in 2014, Jeter announced on February 12th that the season would be his last one. He managed to stay healthy during the spring although he only hit .137, and was the starting shortstop on Opening Day, against the Houston Astros on April 1st. He went 1 for 3 and scored a run from his familiar second spot in the line-up, but the Yankees lost, 6-2. He turned 40 in late June, bringing focus on the fact that his seasonal numbers were rather poor, as he seemed headed for his lowest batting average for a full season, with a slugging percentage slightly above .300. With the AL East up for grabs, some commentators even dared to ask the unthinkable question: should the Yankees play Jeter less in order to get more production from his position? In spite of his struggles, he was voted as the starting shortstop for the American League in the 2014 All-Star Game, his 14th All-Star selection. He was only the third player over 40 to start an All-Star game, following Willie Mays (in 1971) and Pete Rose (in 1981). He notched another milestone on July 22nd when he passed Lou Gehrig as the all-time doubles leader with the Yankees, hitting #535. On September 7th, the Yankees held a special day in his honor at New Yankee Stadium, featuring a 45-minute pre-game ceremony and special appearances by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken and NBA great Michael Jordan. One of the unmistakable signs that Jeter was not producing at his customary level in his final year was that he only hit his first homer in his home ballpark on September 18th, waiting for his team's final homestand to do so.

[edit] A flair for the dramatic

Jeter speaks with Pres. Bush before he threw out the ceremonial first pitch in Game Three of the 2001 World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium

Jeter has a reputation for making dramatic defensive plays, as a couple of instances have drawn a great deal of attention. Perhaps the most notable example of this occurred on October 13, 2001 (Boxscore), during Game 3 of the ALDS against the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees trailed in the series, two games to none, but led 1-0 in the 7th inning. With the A's Jeremy Giambi on first base representing the tying run, Terrence Long hit a shot down the right-field line. While Giambi lumbered around the bases, Yankee rightfielder Shane Spencer grabbed the ball and fired it toward home plate. However, Spencer rushed the throw and missed not one, but two cutoff men. Jeter, seeing the throw go off-line, raced into foul territory, fielded the ball on the run, and in one motion flipped the ball behind him to catcher Jorge Posada, who tagged Giambi out. The Yankees held on for a 1-0 win, then took the next two games and the series.

On July 1, 2004 (Boxscore), Jeter made another extraordinary defensive play. In the 12th inning of a tie game against the Boston Red Sox, Boston's Trot Nixon hit a pop-up down the left-field line toward the stands. Jeter sprinted for the ball and made a running one-handed catch, but hit the left-field wall at full-speed, sending him into the stands headfirst. Jeter held on to the ball, but emerged bruised and bloodied, with lacerations on his chin and cheek. Although he was forced to leave the game and get X-rays, Jeter was back in the lineup the following night with a large bandage on his chin. Some fans quickly began to wear similar bandages on their chins as a sign of support.

In the final homestand at Yankee Stadium, Jeter passed Lou Gehrig for the most career hits at the famous ballpark, with number 1,270.

Jeter joined the 3,000 hit club in typically memorable fashion on July 9, 2011. After missing three weeks with a calf injury while just six hits short of the magic number, he got his hitting stroke back slowly, but, with the national media watching, had a tremendous game to set the milestone. He first singled on a full count in the 1st inning, then in the 3rd, hit a home run off David Price to reach the mark. He was only the second of the 28 players to have their 3,000th hit with a home run, after former teammate Wade Boggs; he then went 3 for 3 in his remaining at bats as the Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4. Another theatrical moment occurred on July 28, 2013, when he returned to the line-up as the shortstop after having played only one game all season following his broken ankle in the previous year's ALCS: he homered on the first pitch he saw from Tampa Bay's Matt Moore, sending the home crowd into a frenzy and starting a three-run outburst; moreover his home run was the slumping Yankees' first since the 2013 All-Star Game and the first by a right-handed batter since June 25th !

Before the start of the 2014 season, Jeter announced that it would be his last one in the majors. He was back to health after his lost season the previous year. When he took the field at shortstop on Opening Day on April 1st, he became the first Yankees player to play in 20 seasons with the team; Mariano Rivera had been tied with him with 19 seasons, but he had retired after the 2013 season. On May 23rd, he tied Luis Aparicio for second all-time with 2,583 games at shortstop, although he had no chance of catching the all-time leader, Omar Vizquel, at 2,709, given his upcoming retirement. He was voted the starting shortstop at the 2014 All-Star Game played at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN on July 15th, and once again was in the spotlight in what was his 14th and final appearance in the midsummer classic. He led off the bottom of the 1st with a double off Adam Wainwright and came in to score when Mike Trout followed with a triple, then he singled off Clayton Kershaw to lead off the 3rd but was stranded, before giving way to Alexei Ramirez in the 4th. That performance meant that he finished with a sparkling lifetime mark of 13-for-27 (.481) in his 14 appearances in the mid-summer classic.

[edit] Memorable postseason player

Throughout his career, Jeter has been known as one of the best postseason players in baseball history. Since arriving in the majors in 1996, Jeter's Yankees have been in the playoffs every year save for the 2008 season and have won 7 American League Championships and 5 World Series Championships. Jeter's personal postseason performance has been a major factor in the Yankees' success. As of 2012, Jeter has a career .308 postseason batting average and ranks among the leaders in many postseason categories. The playoffs were expanded just as Jeter was becoming a big-leaguer, giving him the perfect opportunity (along with playing on a star-studded team) to amass stats that look more impressive than they are.

Some of Jeter's most memorable moments have come in postseason play. These include his 8th-inning, game-tying home run against Baltimore in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS, his shovel pass in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS against Oakland, and his game-winning, 10th-inning home run off Arizona's Byung-Hyun Kim in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series (Boxscore). The home run briefly earned Jeter the moniker, "Mr. November," as it came 4 minutes after midnight on November 1st. Due to the September 11, 2001 attacks, it was the first Major League game to be played in the month of November. Jeter has hit above .300 in more than half of the postseason series he's played in, including .500 in the 2002 ALDS, .429 in the 2003 ALDS, .346 in the 2003 World Series, .316 in the 2004 ALDS, .333 in the 2005 ALDS, a run that further solidified his reputation as a "clutch" player.

Uncharacteristically, Jeter struggled during the 2004 ALCS against Boston, batting only .200 in a series in which the Yankees would notably become the first team in major league history to lose a best-of-seven series after taking a 3-games-to-nothing lead.

Jeter rebounded in the 2005 ALDS, where the Yankees battled the Los Angeles Angels. Though the Yankees lost in five games, Jeter hit .333 in the series and came up with timely hits in the decisive Game 5, including a late home run. He hit .500 in the 2006 ALDS as the Yankees were surprised by the Tigers, but then slumped to .176 with no extra-base hits in the 2007 ALDS against Cleveland. The Yankees then uncharacteristically missed the postseason in 2008 - the first time this had happened since Jeter had joined the team - but both he and the team were at their best in the 2009 Postseason. He hit .400 with 2 doubles and a homer in a sweep of the Twins in the Division Series, added two more homers and scored 5 runs in a win over the Angels in the ALCS, then hit over .400 in the World Series as the Yankees beat the Phillies. He had a relatively quiet postseason in both 2010 and 2011, and the Yankees did not go far either year, but seemed to have his old spark in 2012, when he hit .364 as the Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS; however, he fractured his ankle in the 12th inning of Game 1 of the ALCS, ending his season, and without their captain, the Yankees were swept by the Detroit Tigers.

[edit] Yankee Captain

These heroics, as well as his off-the-field leadership, led to the Yankees naming him the 11th captain in Yankees history on June 3, 2003. (However, Howard W. Rosenberg, the foremost historian on baseball captains and author of the 2003 book "Cap Anson 1: When Captaining a Team Meant Something: Leadership in Baseball's Early Years", has found that the count of Yankee captains failed to count Hall of Famer Clark Griffith, the 1903-1905 captain, and Kid Elberfeld, the 1906-1909 one, with 1913 Manager Frank Chance a strong circumstantial candidate to have been captain that year as well. Therefore, Jeter may in fact be the 13th or 14th Yankees captain.) He continued to hold the position until his retirement at the end of the 2014 season.

[edit] Community Service

Jeter is also involved with a charity called "Jeter's Leaders", a youth group from New York City. The program "fosters leadership, peer education, a healthy lifestyle, and preparation for college and beyond" according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

[edit] Trivia

Some sources state that Jeter was named after 1970s Boston Bruins' hockey player Derek Sanderson, but this information is not confirmed by the biography on Jeter's site or any other conclusive source.

His favorite food is chicken parmigiana.

He has his own signature line of sneakers under the Jordan brand, a division of Nike.

He has appeared in national advertising campaigns for Nike, Gatorade, Fleet Bank, MasterCard, Visa, Skippy Peanut Butter and XM Satellite Radio, among others. He receives a reported $6 million per year in endorsements, more than any other baseball player after Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners. He was voted the 'most marketable player in baseball' in a 2005 Sports Business Journal poll. He also has his own cologne sold through Avon called "Driven". See [1] for details.

He ranked 38th in Forbes' 2005 list of the Top 100 Celebrities.

His best friends in baseball are former teammates Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada

Derek is one of the few players in history whose name has been made into an adjective describing a particular kind of swing - the "Jeterian" inside-out swing, with which he often drills inside pitches to right field.

[edit] Media attention

Jeter has often been a media favorite, dating back to his performance in 1994, when a good (but hardly stellar) season earned him Minor League Player of the Year honors from The Sporting News. Many people have criticized the media's unwillingness to criticize Jeter or the trumpeting of his skills beyond what they are worth. There has been the opposite tendency in the statistically-minded community, downplaying the career of an excellent (if overrated) player. A 2006 poll of Major League Baseball players showed that the people who play the game side with the more statistically-oriented side, as Jeter was voted the most overrated player in baseball. 9% of those polled selected him, edging Carlos Beltran by 2%. There was a lot of criticism when he was awarded his first Gold Glove Award in 2004, as advanced defensive metrics favored by sabermetricians showed him as one of the weakest defensive players in baseball at his position, in spite of his stellar reputation.

He appeared on Seinfeld as himself in "The Abstinence".

Jeter has also dated fellow celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johanssen and Jessica Biel.

[edit] Notable Achievements


AL Rookie of the Year
1995 1996 1997
Marty Cordova Derek Jeter Nomar Garciaparra

[edit] Further Reading

  • Mike Bauman: "Perpetual All-Star Jeter never lost modesty: Respect and admiration for Yankees captain shown for last time on ASG stage", mlb.com, July 15, 2014. [2]
  • Derek Jeter : The Life You Imagine: Life Lessons for Achieving Your Dreams, Three Rivers Press, New York, NY, 2000. ISBN 978-0609607862
  • Will Leitch: "The Great Unknown", Sports on Earth, May 29, 2014. [3]
  • Trent McCotter: "More on Streaks", in The Baseball Research Journal, Number 36 (2007), SABR, Cleveland, OH, pp. 44-45.
  • Ian O'Connor: The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY, 2012. ISBN 0547327935
  • Phil Pepe: Core Four: The Heart and Soul of the Yankees Dynasty, Triumph Books, Chicago, IL, 2013. ISBN 978-1600788116

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