One of the most prolific eras in the storied history of the New York Yankees ended with the retirement of Derek Jeter. While someone else will play shortstop for the Yankees next year, no one will be able to fill Jeters’ shoes. He is the Yankees all-time leader in hits, stolen bases, games played, and at bat. Those numbers alone show Jeter is irreplaceable. In addition to that, he had a career 310 batting average, played in 13 All-Star Games, and was the 2000 World Series MVP.
Jeter was also the last member of the core four which consisted of in addition to Jeter: Mariano Rivera; Jorge Posada; and Andy Petite that helped the Yankees win five World Series since 1996. One of the reasons the Yankees were able to achieve the level of success they did during the Jeter era, was his ability to come through in the clutch. When it mattered the most, Jeter was at his best. Whether it was hitting the game winning homerun in the 2001 World Series, the flip play against the Oakland Athletics, or getting a game winning hit against the rival Boston Red Sox, no moment was too big for him.
So it was no surprise that in his final time at bat at Yankees Stadium, he hit the game winning walk off single against the Baltimore Orioles. You couldn’t have scripted a better ending to his 20 year career playing in the Bronx. It was classic Jeter doing what he does best.
It’s not just his performance on the field that made Jeter one of a kind; it was his class and dignity off the field. While many modern day athletes are mired in controversy and constant distractions, he
was never involved in controversy. This is one of the reasons he is one of the most well respected athletes in the world. While many fans hate the Yankees, which is why they’re nicknamed “The Evil Empire,” fans never hated Jeter.
The affection for Jeter was evident throughout his farewell tour this season. Whether it was opposing teams and fans showing their admiration for Jeter, or heart felt commercials showing their genuine
appreciate for the player and man that Jeter is. The affection for Jeter culminated in his final game at Fenway Park. After Jeter was pulled from the game following an infield single, the fans at Fenway Park gave Jeter a resounding ovation. The ovation was so loud you would have thought you were in Yankee Stadium. It’s hard to imagine Red Sox fans giving any other Yankee that show of respect.
With all that Jeter has achieved, it is without question, he is one of the top ten New York Yankee of all-time. His place on the Yankees top ten list will be debated, but what’s not debatable, is that he will join the rest of the Yankees greats in Cooperstown when he’s inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.
Jeter has had countless of great moments throughout his career. So it was difficult to name his 5 greatest moments. Here’s our list of Derek Jeter’s top 5 moments.
1) Mr. 3000- On July 9th 2011 Jeter homers off of Tampa Bay pitcher
David Price for his 3,000 hit. Jeter became the second player in
history to have a homerun for his 3,000 hit. The other player was
2) The Flip Play- with the Yankees losing the first two games of the 2001 ALDS to the
Oakland Athletics and clinging to a 1-0 lead in game 3, Oakland’s Jeremy Giambi
tries to score on a double down the right field line. Jeter runs across the field, grabs
the over thrown relay and flips the ball to catcher Jorge Posada who tags Giambi
out at home plate. The Yankees would go on to win the game and the series.
3) Subway Series MVP- With the Yankees up 2 games to 1 in the 2000 World Series,
Jeter hits a homerun on the very first pitch of game 4 off of Bobby Jones. The Yankees
would go on to win games 4 and 5 to win the first Subway series since 1956.
Jeter would go 9 for 22 in the series and is named World Series MVP.
4) Mr. November- With game 4 of the World Series tied at 3-3, Jeter hits a walk off
homerun in the 10th inning. Jeter was the first player to hit a homerun in the month
of November, and was called Mr. November immediately after the game.
5) Last game at Yankee Stadium- after reliever David Robertson blows a three run
lead in the top of the ninth, Jeter singles the game winning run in the bottom of the
ninth as the Yankees defeat the Orioles 6-5. Jeter is mobbed by his teammates and
says thank you and goodbye to the fans at Yankees Stadium.