Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter
A man in a grey baseball uniform with a navy helmet prepares to swing at a pitch
Jeter batting for the Yankees against the Orioles in 2008.
New York Yankees — No. 2
Born: June 26, 1974 (1974-06-26) (age 37)
Pequannock, New Jersey
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
May 29, 1995 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
(through 2011 season)
Batting average     .313
On-base percentage     .383
Hits     3,088
Runs     1,769
Home runs     240
Runs batted in     1,196
Career highlights and awards

Derek Sanderson Jeter (play /ˈtər/; born June 26, 1974) is an American baseball shortstop who has played 17 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees. A twelve-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, Jeter's clubhouse presence, on-field leadership, hitting ability, and baserunning have made him a central figure of the franchise during the Yankees' success of the 1990s and 2000s.[1] He has served as the Yankees' team captain since 2003.[2]

Jeter was drafted out of high school by the Yankees organization in 1992, and he debuted in the Major Leagues in 1995. The following year, he became the Yankees' starting shortstop and won the Rookie of the Year Award. In addition, Jeter's achievements include four Silver Slugger Awards, five Gold Glove awards, All-Star Game MVP Award, World Series MVP Award, and membership in the 3,000 hit club. He is the all-time hits leader among shortstops,[3] and his .313 career batting average through the 2011 season ranks as the eighth-highest among active players. He has been among the American League (AL) leaders in hits and runs scored for the past ten years. He is the all-time Yankees hit leader, having passed Hall of Fame member Lou Gehrig in 2009.[4] Through 2011, Jeter is the Yankees' all-time career leader in games played (2,426), at bats (9,868), and hits (3,088). He is also third in runs (1,769) and tied for fifth in batting average (.313).[5]

Jeter has a reputation as a reliable contributor in the postseason. Jeter holds many postseason records, and has a .351 batting average in the World Series. Jeter has earned the titles of "Captain Clutch", and "Mr. November" due to his postseason heroics.[6][7]

Jeter is regarded as a consummate professional by teammates and opponents alike.[8] Many players and coaches consider Jeter to be one of the best players of his generation.[9] Sportswriters anticipate that Jeter will be inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame following his playing career.[10]


Early life

Jeter was born in Pequannock, New Jersey in 1974. His father, Sanderson Charles Jeter, Ph.D., a substance abuse counselor, is African American; his mother, Dorothy, an accountant, is Caucasian and of Irish/German descent.[11] Charles and Dorothy met while serving in the United States Army in Germany.[12][13] His father played shortstop at Fisk University in Tennessee.[14] Derek has one sister, Sharlee, who is five years younger and was a softball star in high school.[12]

A man in a navy blue and grey windbreaker with the word "New" visible stands on the left facing a man in a navy blue polo shirt who is looking away.
Jeter with his boyhood idol Dave Winfield at Dodger Stadium, June 2010.

The Jeters lived in North Arlington, New Jersey, before moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan, when he was four years old.[1] As a child, his parents had Derek sign a contract every year consisting of acceptable and unacceptable forms of behavior.[15] Dorothy instilled a positive attitude in Derek, insisting that he not use the word "can't".[16]

Jeter and his sister lived in Michigan during the school year and spent their summers with their grandparents in New Jersey. Jeter became a passionate fan of the Yankees, his future team, when his grandparents took him to Yankees games.[1][14] Jeter became inspired to play baseball by watching Dave Winfield play with the Yankees.[17]

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. Kalamazoo Central High School inducted Jeter into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003[18] and named its baseball field in honor of Jeter in 2011.[19]

Jeter had batting averages of .557 as a sophomore and .508 as a junior.[1] As a senior, he batted .508; had 23 runs batted in, 21 walks, four home runs, and 12 stolen bases (in 12 attempts); and struck out only once.[1]

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.[1][20]

Jeter was scouted extensively by Hal Newhouser for the Houston Astros. Newhouser advocated his selection with the first pick of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft to Astros' management, convinced that Jeter would anchor a winning team.[21] However, the Astros passed on Jeter in the draft, choosing Cal-State Fullerton outfielder Phil Nevin. Jeter received a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Michigan, and the speculation was that he would insist on a salary bonus of $1 million or more to forgo his college scholarship and sign.[21] The Astros signed Nevin for $700,000.[21] Newhouser felt so strongly about Jeter's potential that he quit his job after the Astros passed on him.[22]

The Yankees drafted Jeter with the sixth overall pick. Though Yankee officials were concerned Jeter might attend college, scout Dick Groch insisted "the only place Derek Jeter's going is to Cooperstown."[23] Jeter chose to turn professional, signing with the Yankees for $800,000.[24]

Baseball career

Minor leagues (1992–1995)

Jeter spent four years in the minor leagues, then known as the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL). Jeter began the 1992 season in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League before advancing to the Class-A Greensboro Hornets. Jeter struggled in 1992, batting .202.[21]

In 1993, playing in Greensboro, Jeter collected various awards, including Most Outstanding Major League Prospect of the South Atlantic League.[25] He was disappointed in himself for committing 56 errors in 1993, requiring an extra focus on his fielding.[21] Despite this, Jeter was also voted the South Atlantic League's Best Defensive Shortstop, Most Exciting Player, and Best Infield Arm by Baseball America.[20]

Jeter played for the Class-A Advanced Tampa Yankees, the Double-A Albany-Colonie Yankees, and the Triple-A Columbus Clippers in 1994, hitting .344 with five home runs, 68 runs batted in, and 50 stolen bases combined. He was honored with the Minor League Player of the Year Award by Baseball America, The Sporting News, USA Today, and Topps/NAPBL.[20][21] He was also named the MVP of the Florida State League.[20]

The Yankees had projected Jeter as their starting shortstop for the 1995 season, but when he suffered a minor injury in the Arizona Fall League, the Yankees signed Tony Fernández to a two-year contract to play shortstop and kept Jeter in Triple-A.[26] The Yankees reportedly offered Jeter the opportunity to work out with the replacement players in Spring Training prior to the 1995 season, but he declined to cross the picket line.[27]

Major leagues (1995–present)


Jeter made his debut in the major leagues on May 29, 1995, due to injuries to Fernández and Pat Kelly.[26] Jeter batted .234 and committed two errors in 13 games before being demoted to Columbus.[28]

Despite the presence of Fernández on the roster, new Yankees manager Joe Torre announced that Jeter would be the starting shortstop in 1996.[29] He started on Opening Day of the 1996 season as the starting shortstop, the first Yankee rookie since Tom Tresh in 1962 to do so,[1] and hit his first major-league home run on that day. Jeter played his way to a successful rookie season, hitting for a .314 batting average, with 10 home runs, 104 runs scored, and 78 runs batted in. He subsequently earned Rookie of the Year honors.[30] Jeter batted .361 in the playoffs,[30] as the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves to win their first World Series championship since 1978.

During the 1996 American League Championship Series, Jeter was involved in what has become a memorable moment in postseason history. During game one, with the Yankees trailing the Baltimore Orioles 4–3 in the 8th inning, Jeter hit a fly ball to right field. As right fielder Tony Tarasco moved to make a play on the ball near the fence, appearing to have a chance to catch the ball, 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier reached over the wall and caught the ball, pulling it back into the stands. Despite Tarasco's protest, the umpires convened and ruled the ball a home run. Replays conclusively showed that, had Maier not interfered, the ball would have fallen in front of the fence and potentially into Tarasco's glove for an out. The Yankees went on to win in 11 innings and eventually won the series, four games to one. The ruling made for the first home run of Jeter's postseason career.[31]

Heading into the 1997 season, Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra were widely considered the "new crop" of shortstops, as the careers of Cal Ripken, Jr., Barry Larkin, Ozzie Smith and Alan Trammell were concluding.[32] Prior to the 1997 season, Jeter and the Yankees agreed on a $540,000 contract with performance bonuses.[33] That year, Jeter batted .291, with 10 home runs, 70 runs batted in, 116 runs and 190 hits.[30] Though Jeter hit two home runs during the 1997 American League Division Series, the Yankees lost to the Cleveland Indians.[30]

Jeter batted .324 during the 1998 season, with a league-leading 127 runs, 19 home runs, and 84 runs batted in,[30] for a team that won 114 games during the regular season and is widely considered to be one of the greatest of all time. In the playoffs, Jeter hit only .176 in the Division and League Championship Series, but he excelled in the World Series, batting .353, as the Yankees went on to beat the San Diego Padres in four games.[30]


Jeter led the American League in hits (219) in 1999, while finishing second in the league in batting average (.349) and runs scored (134).[30] Jeter, who, for part of the year, batted third in the lineup, also drove in 102 runs, becoming only the second Yankee shortstop to do so, following Lyn Lary, who drove in 107 runs in 1931.[30] His season totals in batting average, runs, hits, runs batted in, doubles (37), triples (9), home runs (24), slugging percentage (.552), and on-base percentage (.438) are all personal bests.[30] Jeter batted .455 in the 1999 American League Division Series, .350 in the 1999 American League Championship Series, and .353 in the 1999 World Series,[30] as the Yankees defeated the Braves to win another championship.

Jeter making a play against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jeter making a play against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.

Jeter had a confrontation with teammate Chad Curtis during the 1999 season. Curtis, an outspoken Christian, approached him about discussing his faith, but Jeter declined. When Curtis approached Jeter again, he became offended.[21] Later in the season, a mid-game bench-clearing brawl with the Seattle Mariners occurred. After the brawl ended, Jeter was seen engaged in friendly chatter with his good friend Alex Rodriguez, who then played for the Mariners. Upon returning to the dugout, Curtis chastised Jeter for being friendly with an opponent during a bench-clearing brawl, which violated an unwritten rule of baseball. After the game, Curtis approached Jeter in the clubhouse, with beat writers present. Jeter commented that this was not an appropriate time for a confrontation. Curtis later apologized.[21]

During the 1999–2000 offseason, the Yankees negotiated with Jeter, tentatively agreeing to a $118.5 million, seven-year contract.[34] Yankee owner George Steinbrenner did not want to set a salary record, delaying until the acceptance of a $143 million, eight-year contract extension between the Detroit Tigers and Juan González. When that proposed deal fell through, Jeter's tentative deal fell through, and he agreed to a one-year deal for $10 million.[34]

Jeter batted .339, with 15 home runs, 73 runs batted in, 119 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases in 2000.[30] He batted only .211 in the Division Series but rebounded to bat .318 against the Seattle Mariners in the Championship Series and .409, with two home runs, a triple, and two doubles in a five-game series against the New York Mets in the World Series,[30] the first Subway Series since 1956.

In 2000, Jeter became the first player to win the MVP award for both the All-Star Game and the World Series in the same year. He also became the first Yankee since Yogi Berra, in 1959, to hit a home run in the All-Star Game.[30]

Before the 2001 season, with one year remaining until he would become eligible for free agency, Jeter signed a $189 million, ten-year contract to remain with the Yankees, making him the second highest paid athlete, trailing only Rodriguez.[34] Rodriguez signed his deal earlier than Jeter, setting a higher market for Jeter's negotiations.[34]

During the season, Jeter batted .311, with 21 home runs, 74 runs batted in, 110 runs scored, and 27 stolen bases.[30] Jeter made a notable defensive play in Game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics. With Jeremy Giambi on first base, Oakland right fielder Terrence Long hit a double off Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina into the right-field corner. As Giambi rounded third base and headed for home, Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer retrieved the ball and made a wild throw that missed cutoff man Tino Martinez and dribbled down the first-base line. Jeter came from shortstop to grab the ball and flipped it to catcher Jorge Posada, who tagged Giambi on the leg just before he crossed home plate for the out. Facing elimination, the Yankees went on to win the game, as well as the series. The play, known as "The Flip,"[1] was later voted seventh in Baseball Weekly's 10 Most Amazing Plays of all time,[35] and also won the 2002 Best Play ESPY Award.

After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the baseball season was put on hold. As a result, the start of the playoffs was delayed, and game 4 of the 2001 World Series was played on October 31. The game went into the tenth inning tied at 3–3. At midnight, the scoreboard in center field read "Attention Fans, Welcome to NOVEMBER BASEBALL." This was the first time that any non-exhibition MLB game had been played in the month of November.[1] Moments after this message was displayed on the board, Jeter hit a home run off of Byung-Hyun Kim. The Yankees flashed the words "Mr. November," a reference to Reggie Jackson's nickname, "Mr. October," on the scoreboard.[1] Jeter was 3 for 12 (.250) in November baseball that season, as the Yankees lost the World Series in seven games to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 2002, Jeter batted .297, with 18 home runs, 75 runs batted in, 124 runs scored, 191 hits, and a career-best 32 stolen bases. He led the majors in stolen base percentage (91.4%), getting caught only three times.[30]


A baseball player in a grey uniform follows through with his swing, while a catcher on the opposing team in a white uniform squats behind him and an umpire in a black uniform stands behind the catcher.
Jeter connects for a hit against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

In 2003, Jeter dislocated his left shoulder on Opening Day when he collided with Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby at third base.[36] Jeter, who had never played fewer than 148 games in the prior seven full seasons, was subsequently on the disabled list for six weeks, missing 36 games.[37] Jeter returned to bat .324, losing the batting title to Bill Mueller, who batted .326.

Steinbrenner named Jeter the 11th recognized captain in Yankees history on June 3, 2003, following eight seasons without a captain after the retirement of Don Mattingly in 1995.[2] Dispute over the true count has been noted.[38]

The beginning of the 2004 season saw Jeter mired in a slump; on May 25, he was hitting only .189. This included a personal career record 0-for-32 skid in April.[30] In June, 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; 23 home runs, the second most of his career; 78 runs batted in; 111 runs scored; and a career-best 44 doubles, which broke a Yankee single-season record for doubles by a shortstop, besting Tony Kubek's 38 in 1961.[30]

During a July 1, 2004, game against the rival Boston Red Sox, with the score tied at 3 in the top of the 12th inning, 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. Jeter ran from his position at shortstop and made an over-the-shoulder catch. In dramatic fashion, he launched himself over the third-base side railing, landing three rows into the left-field seats, and lacerating his chin and bruising his face in the process. Jeter was later taken out of the game. This catch ended the inning, and later the Yankees went on to win the game in the bottom of the 13th inning.[39] For the play, Jeter was awarded Play Of The Year in the This Year In Baseball awards competition, as voted on by fans at[40]

On June 18, 2005, against the Chicago Cubs, Jeter hit his first and only grand slam, after 10 years in the major leagues. At one point, Jeter had the most at bats of any active player not to have hit a grand slam.[41] In 2005, Jeter was second in the AL in both runs scored (122) and batting average on balls in play (.394),[42] and was third in the league in both at bats (654) and hits (202). Jeter won his second consecutive Gold Glove in 2005, as his low range factor rose to 4.76 and ranked second among AL shortstops.

A man in a grey baseball uniform with "New York" written on the front in navy letters and a navy helmet stands in a batting stance while holding a baseball bat.
Jeter prepares to bat at Oriole Park in 2007.

In 2006, Jeter was second in the AL in both batting average (.343) and runs scored (118); was third in hits (214), stolen base success percentage (87.2), and batting average with runners in scoring position (.381); and was fifth in infield hits (26).[43] He finished second in American League Most Valuable Player Award voting to Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins (320 points to 306 points).[44] Jeter finished in the top 10 in the MVP balloting 6 times in his 11 full seasons through 2006 (including also a third-place finish in 1998).[30]

Jeter had his sixth overall and third consecutive season of 200 hits or more in 2007, finishing third in the AL with 203. He was also fourth in both at-bats (639) and plate appearances (714), sixth in times on base (276), and ninth in batting average (.322).[30] In the field, he was involved in a career-high 104 double plays.[30]

In 2008, Jeter's slugging percentage (SLG) was .410, his lowest since 1997.[30] One possible cause was a prolonged slump that he suffered after being hit by a pitch on his wrist.[45] Before the injury, Jeter was hitting .324 with a .774 on-base plus slugging (OPS). After the injury, his batting average dipped to as low as .269 by the end of the month.[30] His offense took an upward turn after May as he hit .322 with a .824 OPS after June 1.[30] Jeter was elected to his ninth All-Star game as the starting shortstop.

Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for the most hits at Yankee Stadium (1,269) with a home run off Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price on September 14, 2008. On September 16, he went on to break the record off of Chicago White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd. Following the final game in Yankee Stadium history, Jeter made an impromptu on-field speech, thanking the Yankees fans for their support and asking them to pass on their memories from the venue while making new memories at the new Yankee Stadium.[46]


Jeter receives his 2009 World Series Championship ring

In 2009, Jeter was named eighth on the Sporting News' list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball by a panel of 100 baseball people, composed of members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and winners of major baseball awards.[47]

For the 2009 season, Yankees manager Joe Girardi switched Jeter and Johnny Damon in the batting order, with Damon moving to second and Jeter becoming the leadoff hitter, based on the rationale that Jeter has a higher on base percentage (OBP) than Damon, but grounds into double plays more often.[48] Jeter batted .334 (third in the AL), with a .406 on-base percentage, 18 home runs, 30 stolen bases (caught only 5 times), 107 runs scored (in the top 10 in MLB), and 212 hits (second in MLB).[30]

On August 16, 2009, against the Seattle Mariners, Jeter doubled down the right-field line for his 2,675th hit as a shortstop, breaking Luis Aparicio's previous record for the most hits by a shortstop in major league history.[49] Jeter became the all-time hits leader as a member of the Yankees (2,722), passing Lou Gehrig on September 11, 2009. The hit was a single off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman in the third inning.[4]

In the 2009 postseason, Jeter batted .355, including .407 in the 2009 World Series,[30] as he won his fifth World Series championship. He was named Sportsman of the Year for 2009 by Sports Illustrated.[50] Jeter also finished third in the AL MVP voting, behind the Minnesota's Joe Mauer and teammate Mark Teixeira.

The 2010 season was statistically Jeter's worst in many respects.[51] The Yankee captain batted .270 with a .340 OBP and .370 SLG and an Adjusted OPS of 90, his first full season with an OPS+ below 100. However, Jeter did bat .342 in his last 79 at-bats after making adjustments to his swing.[52] Following the season, Jeter won his fifth Gold Glove award.[53] He committed six errors during the season, his lowest total in 15 full seasons.[54] Jeter finished the season 36th on the all time hits list, just one behind Al Simmons.

After the 2010 season, Jeter became a free agent for the first time in his career. He reached an agreement with the Yankees on a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year.[55] The deal was finalized on December 7.[56] Jeter spent the offseason making adjustments in his swing.[57]

On May 28, 2011, Jeter broke Rickey Henderson's franchise record for stolen bases when he stole his 327th base against the Mariners.[58] Jeter began the 2011 season batting .260 with a .649 OPS prior to suffering a calf injury that required his fifth career 15-day disabled list stint, and his first since 2003.[59][60] Following his activation from the DL, he hit .326 with an .806 OPS in his last 64 games of the season.[59] Jeter finished the year with a .297 batting average, 6 home runs, 61 runs batted in, 84 runs, and 16 stolen bases.[30]

Jeter crosses home plate after recording his 3000th hit, his teammates waiting to congratulate him.

On July 9, 2011, he recorded his 3,000th career hit, a home run in the third inning of an afternoon game against David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays. Jeter finished the day with five hits in five at bats, the second player to do so the day of achieving the 3,000th hit (the first was Craig Biggio).[61] The last of Jeter's five hits proved to be the game-winning hit. He is the only member of the 3,000 hit club to record all of his hits with the New York Yankees, and one of only two players (the other being Wade Boggs) to hit a home run for his 3,000th hit.[62] Jeter is the second player to reach 3,000 hits as a shortstop (the first was Honus Wagner).[63] Only Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Robin Yount were younger than Jeter on the day of their 3,000th hit.[63] Major League Baseball and HBO produced Deter Jeter 3K, a documentary that profiles his path to 3,000 hits which originally aired on July 28, 2011.[64]

Jeter finished the 2011 season with 162 hits, his 16th consecutive season with 150 hits, which tied him with Pete Rose for the second most consecutive 150 hit seasons, one behind Hank Aaron for the MLB record.[65]

Postseason performance

A man in a grey baseball uniform with "New York" written on the front in navy letters and a navy hat with white letters "N" and "Y" interlocking stands ready to field his position.
Jeter at shortstop in 2007.

Jeter is noted for his postseason performances, and has earned the titles of "Captain Clutch", and "Mr. November" due to his postseason heroics.[6][7][66][67] He has a career .309 postseason batting average, and a .351 batting average in the World Series. Except for 2008, the Yankees have been to the postseason every year since Jeter joined the team. Jeter owns MLB postseason records for games played (152), plate appearances (679), at-bats (559), hits (191), doubles (31), runs scored (107), total bases (290) and strikeouts (125). Jeter is also third in triples (4), third in home runs (20), fourth in runs batted in (59), and fifth in base on balls (64) and sixth stolen bases (18).[30]

World Baseball Classic

Jeter was the starting shortstop for Team USA in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He hit .450 (9-for-20) and scored five runs in six games. Only Ken Griffey, Jr. (.524) and Yoandy Garlobo (.480) had a higher batting average with a minimum of 20 at bats.[68] Jeter's play earned him recognition as the shortstop selection on the All-Tournament Team.[69]

Jeter started at shortstop for Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic as well. At the start of the tournament, he was named captain of Team USA by manager Davey Johnson.[70] With Team USA, Jeter faced the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in an exhibition game, the first time he played against the Yankees.[71]

Player profile

"Derek Jeter has always been above the fray. As someone who’s wallowed in it, “foot-in-mouthed” it hundreds of times, said dumb things and backed up dumber ones, it’s refreshing. He’s shown up, played, and turned in a first-ballot Hall of Fame career in the hardest environment in sports to do any/all of the above."

Jeter is considered to be one of the most consistent baseball players of all time. Jeter has only played fewer than 148 games a season once in his career, when he dislocated his left shoulder on Opening Day, 2003. He has an average of 194 hits, 118 runs scored and 23 stolen bases per year over the course of 152 games played.[73]

Though Jeter is a right-handed hitter, his signature inside-out swing, also called the "Jeterian Swing",[74] has driven a large portion of hits up the middle, to center and right field, a trend that has remained consistent throughout his career. He has more home runs to the opposite field (86) than to center or to left, using his swing to take advantage of the short right-field fences at both the old and new Yankee Stadiums.[75]

Jeter is also known for his professionalism. In an age where professional athletes often find themselves in personal scandals, Jeter has avoided major controversy in a high profile career in New York City while maintaining a strong work ethic.[8][15][76][77] A clubhouse leader, Jeter diffuses confrontations between teammates.[8] Due to his style of play, opponents and teammates hold Jeter in high esteem.[8][72]


Despite winning five Gold Glove awards, Jeter's defense has been the subject of criticism from a number of sabermetricians, including Rob Neyer and the publication Baseball Prospectus.[78][79][80][81] The book The Fielding Bible by John Dewan contains an essay by Bill James in which he concludes that Jeter "was probably the most ineffective defensive player in the major leagues, at any position."[79] A 2008 study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that, from 2002 through 2005, Jeter was the worst defensive shortstop in the Major Leagues.[82] Jeter responded to this criticism by saying "I play in New York, man. Criticism is part of the game, you take criticism as a challenge."[83] The controversy over Jeter's fielding has become a flash point for the debate over whether the analyses of statistics or subjective observation is the better method to assess a player's defensive ability, and for criticism of the Gold Glove award.[84]

Jeter committed 18 errors in 2007, his highest total since finishing with 24 in 2000.[83] After the season, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and his staff saw Jeter's defense as an area that needed to be addressed.[85] At the Yankees' request, Jeter embarked on a rigorous training program to combat the effects of age, by focusing on lateral movement and first-step quickness.[86] Jeter's ultimate zone rating (UZR) improved from worst in the American League for shortstops in 2007 to close to league average in 2008.[85]

Two sites that rely on advanced defensive statistics, and, rated Jeter below middle-of-the-pack status in 2010, despite his receiving his fifth Gold Glove Award that season.[87][88] When asked about his defense, Jeter asserted that many defensive factors cannot be quantified.[54]

Career highlights


A man in a navy windbreaker and navy hat prepares to catch a baseball.
Jeter warming up before a game.
Award / Honor Time(s) Date(s)
American League All-Star[20] 12 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
New York Yankees Player of the Year[89] 5 1998, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2009
American League Gold Glove Award (SS)[20] 5 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010
American League Silver Slugger Award (SS)[20][89] 4 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
This Year in Baseball Awards Moment Of The Year[90] 2 2008, 2009
Hank Aaron Award[90] 2 2006, 2009
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award[90] 1 2010
Roberto Clemente Award[90] 1 2009
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year[91] 1 2009
ESPY Awards Best MLB Player[92] 1 2007
Inductee in Kalamazoo Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame[18] 1 2007
Baseball Digest Player of the Year[20] 1 2006
Baseball America 1st-Team Major League All-Star (SS)[20] 1 2006
This Year in Baseball Awards Play Of The Year[90] 1 2004
The Sporting News "Good Guy in Sports" Award[90] 1 2002
Babe Ruth Award[90] 1 2000
All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award[20] 1 2000
World Series Most Valuable Player Award[20] 1 2000
Joan Payson Award for Community Service[93] 1 1997
American League Rookie of the Year[20][89] 1 1996
Players Choice Award Rookie Of The Year[90] 1 2004
International League All-Star[90] 1 1995
Florida State League All-Star[90] 1 1994
Florida State League Most Valuable Player[90] 1 1994
Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year[90] 1 1994
The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year[90] 1 1994
Topps/NAPBL Minor League Player of the Year[90] 1 1994
New York Yankees Minor League Player of the Year[90] 1 1994
South Atlantic League All-Star[90] 1 1993
South Atlantic League's Best Defensive Shortstop, Most Exciting Player, Best Infield Arm[90] 1 1993
American Baseball Coaches Association High School Player of the Year[90] 1 1992
USA Today High School Player of the Year[90] 1 1992
Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year[90] 1 1992

Statistical highlights

  • Led League
    • Led AL in plate appearances (1997, 1998, 2005)[90]
    • Led AL in singles (1997, 1998)[90]
    • Led AL in runs created (1999)[90]
    • Led AL in runs scored (1998)[90]
    • Led AL in hits (1999)[90]
  • League Top–Ten
    • 11–time Top 10 AL in hits (1997–2002, 2004–2007, 2009)
    • 10–time Top 10 AL in runs scored (1997–2006,2009)
    • 9–time Top 10 AL in batting average (1998–2001, 2003–2007, 2009)
    • 1–time Top 10 AL in total bases (1999)
    • 8–time Top 10 AL MVP (1997–2001, 2003–2009)
    • 5–time Top 10 AL hitters (1997, 1999–2000, 2003, 2009)
    • 6–time Top 10 AL in times on base (1997, 1999, 2005–2009)


A man in a white baseball uniform with navy pinstripes removes his helmet to salute the crowd, which is cheering for him.
Jeter saluting the crowd after becoming the all-time Yankees hits leader.
  • Jeter 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.[94]
  • On June 27, 2008, Jeter hit his 400th double.[95]
  • On July 12, 2008, Jeter hit his 200th home run.[96]
  • On September 14, 2008, Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for most hits at Yankee Stadium.[97] He passed Gehrig on September 16, 2008.[98]
  • On August 2, 2009, Jeter played in his 2,084th game, tying Babe Ruth for 4th in Yankees history.[99]
  • On August 16, 2009, Jeter recorded his 2,673rd and 2,674th hits, tying and passing Luis Aparicio for most hits by a shortstop in Major League history.[100]
  • On September 11, 2009, Jeter became the Yankees' all-time hits leader, surpassing Lou Gehrig with his 2,722nd hit, a single to right field off of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman in the third inning.[4]
  • On April 6, 2010, Jeter, along with Posada and Mariano Rivera, became the first teammates in any of the four major league sports in North America (MLB, NFL, NBA, or NHL) to play in at least 16 seasons on the same team as teammates.[101]
  • On June 12, 2010, Jeter compiled his 3,000th hit (including the postseason) with a solo home run in the first inning against the Houston Astros. The hit also tied him with Rickey Henderson as the all-time Yankees leader in leadoff home runs.[102]
  • On May 28, 2011, Jeter stole his 327th base, breaking Henderson's franchise record for stolen bases.[58]
  • On July 9, 2011, Jeter became the 28th member of the 3,000 hit club when he homered off David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays in the third inning at Yankee Stadium. He is also the first player in Yankees history to achieve the feat.[103]
  • On July 14, 2011, Jeter and Posada played their 1,660th game together, breaking the previous franchise record of 1,659 by Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri.[104]
  • On August 29, 2011, Jeter played his 2,402nd game with the Yankees, breaking Mickey Mantle's record for most games played as a Yankee.[105]

Personal life

A man in a navy helmet and grey baseball uniform stares into the distance
Derek Jeter in 2009.

Jeter maintains an apartment in Manhattan's Trump World Tower and homes in Marlboro, New Jersey, Greenwood Lake, New York,[106] and the Davis Islands neighborhood of Tampa, Florida.[107]

Jeter's personal life has been a frequent topic in gossip columns and celebrity magazines since his rookie year in 1996. He had a well-publicized relationship with pop diva Mariah Carey from 1997 to 1998.[1][108] Jeter also dated former Miss Universe Lara Dutta,[1][109] singer Joy Enriquez,[110] and actress Jordana Brewster.[1][111] Jeter also had an on-and-off relationship with television personality Vanessa Minillo from late 2003 until early 2006.[108] From November 2006 to January 2007, Jeter was romantically involved with actress Jessica Biel.[112][113] Jeter dated Friday Night Lights actress Minka Kelly from May 2008 until August 2011.[114][115][116]

In December 2002, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner criticized Jeter for staying out until 3 a.m. at a birthday party during the 2002 season, saying that his star shortstop "wasn't totally focused" and that "it didn't sit well" with him.[21] In May 2003, the two appeared in a VISA commercial together where they went club-hopping, mocking the incident in a fashion similar to how Steinbrenner and former Yankees manager Billy Martin had mocked their feud in a Miller Lite commercial during the 1970s.[117]

In 2008, Jeter settled a tax dispute with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.[118] New York State alleged that Jeter should have paid state income tax from 2001 to 2003, as Jeter bought a Manhattan apartment in 2001; Jeter established his residence in Tampa, Florida, in 1994 and claimed that he was still a resident of Florida at the time, where there is no state income tax.[119][120]

Jeter is a close personal friend of Yankees catcher Jorge Posada and served as best man at Posada's wedding.[121] He has also renewed his close friendship with teammate Alex Rodriguez after a rift between them developed several years ago.[122]

Appearances outside of baseball


A man in a navy helmet and navy windbreaker smiles while talking to someone dressed in the same uniform who is turned away from the camera.
Jeter joking with other players during Spring Training.

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 derives from the baseball double play (where "turning two" refers to making two outs on one play) and indicates the goal of the Foundation to give youths a place to "turn to" instead of drugs and alcohol.[123]

During the 2009 season, Jeter and Mets star David Wright represented their foundations in a competition sponsored by Delta Air Lines; the player with the highest batting average received $100,000 for their foundation from Delta, while the runner-up's foundation received $50,000.[124] Wright's group, the David Wright Foundation, focuses on multiple sclerosis.[125]

Jeter is also involved in Weplay, a website designed to encourage children to get involved in sports.[126]


Jeter has appeared in national ad campaigns for Nike, Gatorade, Fleet Bank, Discover Card, Florsheim, Gillette Fusion, VISA (with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner), Skippy, Ford, and XM Satellite Radio.[127][128][129] He endorses a cologne named Driven, designed in collaboration with and distributed by Avon.[130] Jeter has his own Jumpman shoe.[131]

In 2006, Jeter was the second-highest paid endorser in baseball, having earned $7 million in endorsements.[132] He was ranked as the most marketable player in baseball according to the 2005[133] and 2010 Sports Business Surveys.[134] A 2011 list by the marketing firm Nielsen ranked Jeter as the most marketable player in baseball, accounting for personal attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience, and influence.[135]

Other appearances

Jeter was the cover athlete for 2K Sports' MLB 2K5, MLB 2K6, and MLB 2K7. He was also the cover athlete for Acclaim Entertainment's All-Star Baseball series of video games. Jeter is the cover athlete for Gameloft's wireless phone baseball game, Derek Jeter Pro Baseball 2008. He has appeared on television in Seinfeld and as a host on Saturday Night Live.[136] Jeter had cameo appearances in the comedy films Anger Management and The Other Guys.[137] Jeter's likeness was seen briefly on The Simpsons during the eighth episode of season 19, titled "Funeral for a Fiend", in which he was parodied as a guest starring on Sesame Street. Jeter was the subject of a 2005 segment on the TV news magazine 60 Minutes.[15]

There is a wax figure of Jeter at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in New York,[138] and a sculpture at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Louisville, Kentucky.[139]

See also


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