Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter.jpeg
Jeter up to bat during a Yankees game in 2008.
Born: June 26, 1974 (1974-06-26) (age 46)
Pequannock Township, New Jersey
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB Debut
May 29, 1995 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 2014 the New York Yankees
Career information
High school: Kalamazoo Central (MI)
MLB Draft: 1992 / Pick: 6th
Selected by the New York Yankees
Career highlights and awards

Derek Sanderson Jeter (born June 26, 1974 in Pequannock Township, New Jersey) was a American Major League Baseball shortstop. Jeter is was a fourteen-time All-Star and is the most recent captain of the New York Yankees.

Jeter has spent his entire career with the New York Yankees, starting in 1995 when he was 20 years old. He has won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, the All-Star Game MVP Award, the World Series MVP Award, five Silver Slugger Awards and five Gold Glove Awards.

Early Life[edit | edit source]

Derek Jeter was born in Pequannock, New Jersey, to an African-American father, Charles Jeter, and an Irish-American mother, Dorothy. The family lived in North Arlington, New Jersey, before moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan, when he was 4.

High School[edit | edit source]

In high school, Jeter was a star baseball player at Kalamazoo Central High School, where he also played basketball, earning an All-State honorable mention. After batting .557 as a sophomore, Jeter hit .508 (30-59) with 4 HR, 23 RBIs, 21 BB, and had only 1 strikeout his junior year. He got on base 63.7 percent of the time.

Jeter collected many awards at season's end, including the Kalamazoo Area B'nai B'rith Award for Scholar Athlete, the 1992 High School Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, the 1992 Gatorade High School Player of the year award, and USA Today's High School Player of the Year. During Jeters High School year he was chosen to go and play for Michigan.

Draft[edit | edit source]

Although Jeter received a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Michigan, he was drafted by the New York Yankees with the 6th overall pick of the 1992 amateur draft and chose to go pro.

Minor League Career[edit | edit source]

Jeter spent 4 years in the minor leagues, beginning in the Rookie League before advancing to Class A. He spent 2 years there, collecting various awards, including Most Outstanding Major League Prospect of the South Atlantic League in 1993 and Best Defensive BUGG Shortstop.

In 1994 he was named the Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America, The Sporting News, USA Today Baseball Weekly, and Topps/NAPBL after hitting .344 with 5 HR, 68 RBIs and 50 stolen bases combined at Triple-A Columbus, Double-A Albany, and Class-A Tampa. He was also named the MVP of the Florida State League.

Major League Career[edit | edit source]

File:Jeter Gets a Hit2.jpg

Jeter connects for a hit against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

On May 29, 1995, Jeter made his debut in the Major Leagues against the Seattle Mariners in the Kingdome. He got his first major league hit the following day off of veteran pitcher Tim Belcher, and started 13 games before being sent back down to the minors.

He returned on Opening Day of the 1996 season as the starting shortstop and hit his first major-league home run on that day. He played his way to a successful rookie season, hitting for a .314 batting average, 10 home runs, and 78 runs batted in and subsequently earning Rookie of the Year honors.

In 1999 Jeter led the AL in hits (219), and was 2nd in the league in batting average (.349) and runs (134). By early July, Jeter led Omar Vizquel of the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox' Nomar Garciaparra in fan balloting for the 1999 All-Star Game, which would be held at Boston's Fenway Park. However, in the last week of voting, Garciaparra, despite being 30,000 votes behind Jeter propelled to the top of the vote. New York mayor Rudy Guiliani accused Red Sox fans of stuffing the ballot boxes, however, MLB officials asserted that the jump had come from online votes, which had not been counted until the last week of voting. This was the second voting controversy involving Garciaparra that year, after a Red Sox fan named Chris Nandor developed a program that allowed him to vote for Garciaparra 40,000 times. He was caught, however, and his votes were nullified.

In 2000, Jeter became the first player ever to win the All-Star Game MVP award and the World Series MVP Award in the same year. In 2001, Jeter became the 1st Yankee to hit a home run in an All-Star Game since Yogi Berra in 1959.

At the 2001 World Series, Jeter hit the MLB's first November home run. It was actually an October 31 game that ran past midnight.

In 2003, Jeter started the season by dislocating his left shoulder on opening day, March 31, at the SkyDome in Toronto. He ended up missing the next 36 games. However, he still led the major leagues in batting average on balls in play that year (.380).

The beginning of the 2004 season saw Jeter mired in a major slump; on May 25, he was hitting only .189. This included a personal career record 0-for-32 skid in April. In June, however, Jeter broke out of his slump. He hit nearly .400 for the month and set a personal best with 9 home runs. He finished the season with a .292 average and 23 home runs, the 2nd most of his career.


Derek Jeter against the Colorado Rockies

In 2005 he was 2nd in the AL in runs (122) and batting average on balls in play (.394), and 3rd in the league in at bats (654) and hits (202).

In 2006 Jeter led the major leagues in highest groundball/flyball ratio (3.23; 313/97) and batting average on balls in play (.394), and tied for the American League lead in steals of third base (12). He was 2nd in the league in batting average (.343) and runs scored (118), 3rd in hits (214), SB success % (87.2), and batting average with runners in scoring position (.381), and 5th in infield hits (26). He finished 2nd in American League MVP voting to Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins (320 points to 306 points).

In 2007, through June 9 Jeter was 2nd in the AL in infield hits (16), 3rd in hits (79), 8th in HBP (6), 9th in batting average (.332), and 10th in OBP (.407) and runs (41).

On September 9, 2009, Jeter had 3 hits in a game at the new Yankee Stadium vs. the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to tie Lou Gehrig's record for hits by a Yankee in a career at 2721. On September 11, 2009, Jeter had 2 hits against the Baltimore Orioles at the new Yankee Stadium to break the record and reach 2723 hits. The record-breaker was a single against Doug Fister. Jeter also established the career record for most hits in games while playing shortstop, surpassing Luis Aparicio. Honus Wagner and Luke Appling had more, but played significant numbers of games at other defensive positions. Jeter had another solid season in 2009, batting .334 with 107 runs scored, 212 hits, and 30 stolen bases. He hit 18 home runs and drove in 66 runs. He played in his 7th World Series and was part of his 5th World Series Championship. Jeter finished 3rd in the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player voting (announced November 23, 2009), behind Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankee teammate Mark Teixeira, with 193 points, including 9 second-place votes and 5 thirds. At the conclusion of the 2009 season, Jeter was 2nd among active players in hits, with 2747, second to Ken Griffey, Jr. of Seattle Mariners, who has assumed a reduced playing role, who had 2763.

Postseason[edit | edit source]

He has a Major League Baseball record 200 career postseason hits, and also holds records for most postseason singles (143), at-bats (650), plate appearances (734), total bases (302), runs scored (111) and strikeouts (135). He also is tied for the lead for the most Postseason triples with Rafael Furcal and George Brett. All three of them have five triples.

Clutch play or Over-rated?[edit | edit source]


Jeter as shortstop in 2007

On October 3, 2006, Jeter became the 6th player in Major League history to have 5 hits in a playoff game, leading the Yankees to an 8-4 ALDS Game 1 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Jeter hit two doubles and a homerun, as well as scoring three runs.

The Flip[edit | edit source]

Jeter has made a series of spectacular plays both in the field and at the bat, especially in the 2001 Postseason. Perhaps the most memorable took place in Game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series vs. the Oakland Athletics. With Jeremy Giambi on first base, Oakland right fielder Terrence Long hit a double off of Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina into the right-field corner. As Giambi rounded third and headed for home, Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer retrieved the ball and made a wild throw intended for Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. Instead, the errant throw missed cutoff man Tino Martinez and dribbled up the first base line. Jeter came out of nowhere to grab the ball and flip it to Posada. Giambi was called out. Facing elimination, the Yankees went on to win the game 1-0, as well as the series.

Here is FOX announcer Thom Brennaman's famous call:

"That is fair, down the right field line. Giambi on his way to third, and they're gonna wave him around! The throw misses the cutoff man--shovel to the plate! Out at the plate! Derek Jeter with one of the most unbelievable plays you will ever see by a shortstop!

The play was later voted #7 in Baseball Weekly's 10 Most Amazing Plays of all time.

Later in that same postseason, after hitting a game-ending home run off of Byung-Hyun Kim in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, the first Major League Baseball game ever played in November, Jeter was given by many the nickname "Mr. November," a reference to Reggie Jackson's nickname, "Mr. October."

The "Swan" Dive[edit | edit source]

Another highly touted play was made by Jeter during a July 1, 2004, game against the rival Boston Red Sox. In the top of the 12th inning, with the score tied at 3, the Red Sox had runners on second and third with 2 outs and right fielder Trot Nixon up at bat. Nixon hit a pop fly down the left field line, and it looked like a play would not be made. Jeter, however, sprinted from his shortstop position and made a backhanded over-the-shoulder catch. Still running at full speed and unable to stop himself, he dove over the 3rd base side railing, landing 3 rows into the left field seats, lacerating his chin and bruising his face in the process. This catch ended the inning and later the Yankees went on to win the game in the bottom of the 13th inning on the strength of a ground-rule double from backup catcher John Flaherty, and complete a 3-game sweep of the Red Sox. This was awarded Play Of The Year in the This Year In Baseball awards competition, as voted on by fans at

The controversy involving this play is whether the ball would have landed fair or foul. If the ball was fair and not caught, Trot Nixon would have driven in two go-ahead runs to put the Red Sox up 5-3. However, had the ball landed foul, it simply would have been a strike. Either way, the play ended the inning, and helped the Yankees win.

Yankee Captain[edit | edit source]

The New York Yankees named Jeter the 11th recognized captain in Yankees history on June 3, 2003, after 8 years without one. (Dispute over the true count was noted in a lengthy article in the New York Times on March 25, 2007, by Vincent M. Mallozzi.) Jeter became the first official captain of the team since Don Mattingly retired in 1995. He is in the 7th year of his 10-year contract and made $20.6 million for the 2007 season. This contract is the 2nd largest contract in baseball history and the debate still rages whether or not he's the most overpaid player in the game along with team-mate Alex Rodriguez.

Criticism[edit | edit source]

Jeter's defense has been criticized throughout his career. A baseball journalist has pointed out that he makes fewer plays than most shortstops. According to ALL defense metrics, Jeter is a below-average defender. However, he has won 3 Gold Glove awards but is regarded as a poor fielder by most experts and non NY fans. It should also be noted that the voting for the Gold Glove award is very subjective and many times players win the award on reputation rather than performance. The perfect example is Rafael Palmeiro, who won the award in 1999 despite playing only 28 games at 1B. Palmeiro's defensive skills that year were clearly not what they were in the past.

The book The Fielding Bible by John Dewan contains an essay by Bill James that explains why he thinks Astros shortstop Adam Everett is far superior to Jeter defensively. James analyzes the available evidence (four separate methods relying on a different set of facts and based on exhaustive research), and suggests that Derek Jeter could be the worst defensive shortstop of all time. He concludes, "Giving [Jeter] every possible break on the unknowns, he is still going to emerge as a below average defensive shortstop." The conclusion of the analysis done by Baseball Info Solutions' method (based on systematic observation) was that Derek Jeter "was probably the least effective defensive player in the major leagues, at any position."

The former reservations have led to him being cited as one of the most overrated players in Major League Baseball, by critics and by other players, while he was voted the league's best shortstop by fellow players just one year earlier.

Personal Life[edit | edit source]

Derek Jeter is from a family of four, including his sister, Sharlee. Jeter's personal life has been a favorite topic in gossip columns and celebrity magazines since his rookie year in 1996. Jeter had a well publicized relationship with pop diva Mariah Carey from 1997 to 1998. Jeter has also dated former Miss Universe Lara Dutta and actress Jordana Brewster. He was rumored to have dated actresses Scarlett Johannson,Gabrielle Union, and Jessica Alba. Rumors also circulated that he was dating supermodel Tyra Banks after the two were spotted sitting next to each other at a New York Knicks game, but it turned out to be a coincidence; Jeter's actual "date" to that game was his father. He has also dated Brazilian Supermodel Adriana Lima; whom he did a commercial with. Jeter also had an on-and-off relationship with television personality Vanessa Minillo from late 2003 until early 2006.

Turn 2 Foundation[edit | edit source]

Jeter began the Turn 2 Foundation, a charity organization, in 1996. The Foundation was established to help children and teenagers avoid drug and alcohol addiction, and to reward those who show high academic achievement. The organization's name was chosen, besides the baseball reference to a double play (and Jeter's uniform number), to demonstrate the goal of giving youths a place to "turn to", besides drugs and alcohol.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Hit the MLB's first November home run at the 2001 World Series.
  • Recorded his 2,000th career hit with an infield single on May 26, 2006 off Kansas City Royals pitcher Scott Elarton, becoming the eighth Yankee to reach the milestone.
  • Ranked as the "most marketable player in baseball" in a 2005 Sports Business Journal survey.
  • Ranked 38th (tied with Julia Roberts) in Forbes' 2005 list of "Top 100 Celebrities".
  • Appeared on "The Abstinence", an episode of the television series Seinfeld along with teammate Bernie Williams.
  • Hosted Saturday Night Live in 2001 and dressed up as a woman in one skit with former Yankees David Cone, and David Wells. He played Alfonso Soriano's wife, "Candice Soriano", and said in character that "Jeter does not do it for me. He looks like The Rock had sex with a Muppet."
  • Was the subject of a 2005 segment on the TV news magazine 60 Minutes.
  • Holds the record for most hits, singles, doubles, strikeouts, stolen bases, games played and at bats all-time by a Yankee.
  • It took 10 years for Jeter to hit his first and only Grand Slam and at one point had the most at bats of any active player to not have hit a Grand Slam. His grand slam was hit on June 18, 2005 against the Chicago Cubs.
  • Derek Jeter collected his 3,000th hit on July 9, 2011 with a home run off all-star pitcher David Price to Left Field. Christian Lopez caught the home run and gave it to Jeter for nothing in return. Jeter went 5 for 5 that day and drove in the winning run.

Career Statistics[edit | edit source]

Derek Jeter (Updated as of The End of His Career) [1]
Career 2747 11195 1923 3465 544 66 260 1311 358 .310

See Also[edit | edit source]

New York Yankees
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  1. Derek Jeter. (2007-07-09). Retrieved on 2007-07-9.
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