Derek Jeter

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Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

Position Shortstop
Team New York Yankees
Years of Experience 10 years
Age 31
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg)
Bats Right
Throws Right
College N/A
2005 Salary $19,600,000
Place of Birth Pequannock, New Jersey
Selection 1st round, 6th pick 1992 amateur draft
Drafted by New York Yankees
Major League Debut May 29, 1995

Derek Sanderson Jeter (born June 26, 1974 in Pequannock, New Jersey) is the current starting shortstop for the New York Yankees baseball team and a six-time All-Star.

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. 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 University of Michigan.

Pro baseball accomplishments

Jeter 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 Oriole pitcher Armando Benitez into the right-field seats for a game-tying homerun. 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.

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 most recently, MTV personality Vanessa Minnillo.

Despite all the media attention, Jeter has 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, earned his first All-Star appearance, and placed 3rd 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 All-Star Game, and then World Series MVP, as the Yankees defeated the New York Mets in the Subway Series.

In 2004 and 2005 Jeter won the American League Gold Glove Award, an award given annually to the best defensive player at each position.

In January of 2005, Derek Jeter was voted the best baserunner in baseball by

A flair for the dramatic

Jeter has a knack for making dramatic defensive plays. Perhaps the most notable example of this occurred on October 13, 2001, during the Game 3 of the ALDS against the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees trailed in the series 2 games to none, but led 1-0 in the 7th inning. With the A's Jeremy Giambi on first 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, 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.

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 (winning the AL East Division all but once) and have won 6 American League Championships and 4 World Series Championships. Jeter's teams have also won 17 of the 22 postseason series they've played in, and have compiled a remarkable overall postseason record of 72-38. Jeter's personal postseason performance has been a major factor in the Yankees' success. As of 2005, Jeter has a career .306 postseason batting average and ranks among the leaders in many postseason categories: 2nd in runs, 1st in hits, 2nd in total bases, 2nd in doubles, 7th in home runs, 6th in RBIs, 5th in walks, 1st in singles, and 6th in stolen bases.

Some of Jeter's most memorable moments have come in postseason play. These include his eighth inning, game-tying faux 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, tenth-inning home run off Arizona's Byung-Hyun Kim in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series. The home run briefly earned Jeter the moniker, "Mr. November," as it came 4 minutes after midnight on November 1. 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 15 of the 23 postseason series he's played in, including 5 of his last 7 (.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), further solidifying 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 MLB 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 Anaheim 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.

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 1903-05 captain, and Kid Elberfeld, the 1906-09 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.)

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