New York Yankees: Today, Derek Jeter entered the Baseball Hall of Fame

New York Yankees, Derek Jeter

It’s September 8, 2021, the day that New York Yankees‘ shortstop Derek Jeter was finally inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame albeit delayed by the coronavirus.  After an illustrious 20 years with the Yankees and hundreds of accolades throughout his career, but the ultimate reward for an exceptional career is induction into the Hall of fame, today he joined that esteemed community.

Between 1:30 and 2 pm, all of the present Hall of Famers were introduced, followed by this year’s inductees: Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons, Larry Walker, and finally Derek Jeter to the roar of the crowd and the chant of Derek Jeter, Derek Jeter. That was followed by a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem led by Bernie Williams on guitar. Next, Joe Torre introduced a video produced to honor 10 fallen members of the Hall since the 2019 induction.

After the other inductees were introduced and made their speeches, a video was played on the remarkable career of Derek Jeter. Then Jeter was asked to receive his Hall of Fame Plaque. Baseball Commissioner Bob Manfred read the inscription on his plaque.

At 3:48 in Cooperstown, New York, Derek Jeter stepped to the podium. In typical Jeter style, he would rather talk about his fellow inductees and those that came before him rather than his own accomplishments. First, he congratulated his fellow inductees, the Hall of Fame staff, and the writer’s “all but one of them,” Jeter quipped. Next, he spoke of playing 20 years with the only team he ever wanted to play for, the New York Yankees. Next, he talked about the importance of family and his dad in his career. Finally, he spoke and thanked all those members of his family who made him who he was and is today.

He spoke of Dick Groch, who first saw Jeter play, he was the scout that said this man will see Cooperstown. He read of many names that he should thank players, coaches to the front office for their help in his development. He thanked Joe Torre and Joe Girardi for their trust in him. He thanks a host of players. He thanked the “Boss” Goerge Steinbrenner and the entire Steinbrenner family. Next, he thanked the New York Yankee fans. He said he lived a dream and is still living it. Finally, he thanked his wife and children and how much he loved them.

He concluded by saying that this is a game of failure to today’s players; he asked that those players respect the game as he has. Not once in his speech did he speak of any individual accomplishment that got him to the Hall of Fame; how fitting!

There is no better time to look back at Derek Jeters’ most memorable moments with the New York Yankees with Jeter’s induction. Although these moments may be biased as a lifelong Yankee fan, they are my 10 most memorable moments of his career.

10. Jeter’s Jeffery Maier Home Run

Under the category of taking it when you can get it, Jeter benefited from a young boy in the stands.  It was the 1996 ALCS against the Orioles. That young boy was Jeffery Maier, surely he didn’t know it at the time, but his Derek Jeter catch or knock into the stands would go down in baseball history.  Umpire Richie Garcia would call it a home run tying the game.  The New York Yankees would win the game 5-4 with a Bernie Williams walk-off homer.

9.  Derek’s Opening Day 1996

Before opening day in 1996 owner, George M. Steinbrenner wasn’t sure Jeter should be the opening day shortstop.  After all, just a few months early, he almost traded him to the Mariners.  He was only 21 and a scrawny kid that had had problems with his defense in spring training.  So what did Jeter do? He made spectacular plays and got a homer in the win against Cleveland on opening day.  The next day he would go 3-3 and stole bases.  In those two games, Jeter turned heads in what would be a Hall of Fame career, all with the Yankees.

8. The 5 for 5 in the Division opener

During 2006 in the Division Series against the Detroit Tigers, a series the Yankees would like to forget.  The Tigers took the ALDS from the Yankees in four games.  But in the only game the Yankees won, game one, Derek Jeter went 5-5, including two doubles and a home run while scoring three runs. It would be one of only three games in his career where he would get 10 RBIs.

7. Jeter is All-Star and World Series MVP

In 2000 Jeter put his hame into the history books by becoming the only player in the game’s history to be both All-Star and World Series MVP in the same season.  That record still stands today.

6. Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit

Like so many great Yankee players, Jeter hit many home runs, but he was also a hitting king.  In a comeback year, Jeter was hitting .331, but his signature moment was when he hit his 3,000th hit.  On July 9, 2011, he hit number 3,000 off Rays’ ace David Price.  He wasn’t done in the same game. He had a total of five hits and went 5-5.  Jeter always reached milestones with style increasing his mystique.

5. Jeter’s World Series leadoff homer

In the first subway World series since 1956, the Yankees would take game one in twelve innings. They would survive a comeback and take game two. Moving to the Queens in games 3 and 4, the Mets would win game 3.  In game four, Manager Joe Torres moved Jeter from his familiar hitting spot to lead off.  Jeter launched a home run off Mets starter Bobby Jones into the left-field bleachers at Shea.  The New York Yankees would win the game and ultimately the series with Jeter being named MVP.

4. Jeter becomes Mr. November

Years before, Reggie Jackson was nicknamed “Mr. October” for his clutch hitting in the postseason with the Dodgers and the Yankees. After hitting two home runs in the first five games of the World Series in 1977, Jackson hit three home runs in game six, and the Yankees would win their first World Series in fifteen years. 

Derek Jeter was named Mister November with me in the stands during the ALCS of 2001.  In the tenth inning of a tied game against the Diamondbacks, Jeter came to the plate just as the clock struck midnight, marking the first time Major League Baseball had been played in November.  Byung-Hyun Kim was on the mound pitching. Jeter then hit Kim’s ninth pitch of the at-bat just over Yankee Stadium’s short rightfield wall for a game-winning and Series-tying home run. It was the first walk-off home run of Jeter’s career.  From then on, Jeter was known as Mr. November.

3. Derek Jeter’s flip

Many call it the most fantastic play in baseball. It was the 2001 American League Division Series against the A’s, and the New York Yankees were facing elimination in Oakland in Game 3. Jorge Posada hit a solo home run off Zito in the top of the fifth, and the Yankees carried that 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh in what would be a pitching duel between Zito and the Yankees’ Mike Mussina.

With slow-footed Jason Giambi on third, Terrence Long doubled, and the third base coach signaled that Giambi should take off for home.  Shane Spencer threw an off-line throw to cut of Giambi.  Giambi’s attempt to reach home plate seemed a surety. Instead, the ball went just past the first baseline, but Jeter seemingly popped up out of nowhere to scoop up the ball and flip it to catcher Jorge Posada to catch Giambi by a split second and get the out that would seal the deal on the Yankee 1-0 win.

2. Derek Jeter flies into the stands

Derek Jeter flew into the New York Yankee Stadium fan’s arms with no regard for his own safety.  Trot Nixon popped up down the left-field line in the 12th inning of a tied game against the Red Sox. Derek Jeter, in a dead sprint from his shortstop position, made an over-the-shoulder catch. He had so much momentum that he launched himself over the railing and ended up two rows deep. He emerged with a cut on his chin and blood running from his cheek.  Team trainer Gene Monahan, manager Aaron Boone, and Alex Rodriguez helped Jeter off the field with his parents shocked in the stands. The Yankees went on to win the game in the bottom of the 13th inning on a John Flaherty single.

1. Derek Jeter’s walk-off goodbye to Yankee Stadium.

On the last day, Jeter faced dozens of reporters in the locker room.  All they wanted was for Jeter to talk about his career, something he always hated to do, somehow; he slipped away to a private area, but when he returned, the number of reporters had more than doubled. So Jeter finally relented and said:

“The only thing I’ve ever wanted to talk about is winning,” Jeter said. “When there’s particular attention on you, as opposed to the team, it can be uncomfortable. But I understand it, and I appreciate it.”

Jeter took to the field for a pregame ceremony a few minutes before 7 p.m., and following that, a video was played on the center-field video board in which several fans — young and old — thanked Jeter for his years with the Yankees. At the end of the video, Jeter reciprocated, thanking the fans. Then, when Jeter appeared on the board, the crowd roared with applause.

Nothing was more like Derek Jeter than his final game at Yankee Stadium.  It was as if it was a perfectly choreographed game to show off Derek Jeter as the man of the moment he was throughout so much of his career.  Setting the stage, it was Derek Jeter’s last game at New York Yankee Stadium; his parents were in the stands as they were in many important moments in their son’s career.  The game was tied 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles.

What Jeter and his fans didn’t know was that Jeter’s memorable moments weren’t finished; it was about to get emotional and magical.  Richardson was on first base; Brett Gardner hit a sac fly to center advancing Richardson to second. The game was tied at 5. Then, in his last at-bat in a game that would probably go into extra innings, Jeter stepped to the plate. The eternally patrician Bob Sheppard over the public address announced “number two, Derek Jeter, number two.” The crowd was cheering Der-Ek-Jet-er, Der-Ek-Jet-er. Jeter would go after the first pitch he saw and smack a walk-off single and win for the Yankees in his very last game at Yankee Stadium.  Jeter, who seldom showed emotion, realized he had won the game with a massive smile across his face and raised arms as his teammates swamped him.

It’s moments like this. The Yankees make tears stream down my face.  It happened when I learned Thurmon had died when George obviously ill, handed out the ball at the All-Star Game when Bobby died when Yogi died when Mariano lost it on the mound when Derek and Andy took the ball from him that one last time, and when Derek said goodby with a walk-off win. I can’t help it; I love my Yankees.

After the game Manager, Joe Torres would sum up Jeter’s career perfectly. “What he represents, we don’t have enough of in sports; I’m not just talking about his ability to play baseball, but also what he represents as a man. Sports will cry out for more people as respectful as Derek Jeter.”

Several years later, Jeter’s love of baseball would allow him to be a part-owner and operations manager of the Miami Marlins. He stays today, but now as a National Baseball Hall of Famer.

New York Yankees: This week in Yankee history (video)

There probably isn’t a day that goes by that something in New York Yankee history hasn’t happened that is memorable in their 109-year history. So here is a look at this week’s happenings in that history. This week is particularly interesting.

July 4th, 1925:

On this Independence Day, Yankee pitcher Herb Pennock and the Athletics pitcher Lefty Grove had a game for the history books. The game went 15 innings, with the Yankees winning 1-0. Pennock had one bad pitch in the game. He struck out the first 18 in a row he faced and the last 21 in a row—quite a pitcher’s duel.

July 4th, 1932:

New York Yankee catch Bill Dickey punched Carl Reynolds in the face causing a double fractured jaw. Dickey was suspended for 30 days. It all happened after the Yankees lost the first game of the doubleheader 5-3. In the second game, Joe Sewell threw a ball to home with Reynolds on his way. The ball and Reynold arrive simultaneously, resulting in the collision. Dickey wouldn’t have it and popped him one; that is still a historical event talked about today.

July 4th, 1939:

In 1939 on Independence Day, Lou Gehrig delivered his famed address to the crowd at Yankee Stadium. The “I am the luckiest man in the world” speech is still one of the most iconic in all of baseball. But, unfortunately, Gehrig would die almost two years after his speech of  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often called “Lou Gehrig disease.”

July 4th, 1960:

The famous Yankee Micky Mantle celebrated independence day by hitting the 300th home run of his career.

July 4th, 1983:

Legendary Yankees pitcher Dave Righetti got the first Yankee no-hitter since Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Righetti celebrated on the mound after no-hitting the Yankee’s most intense rival, Boston Red Sox. He was also the first lefty pitcher to do it since 1917 when George Mogridge accomplished the feat against the same Boston Red Sox. It was the first Yankee no-hitter for the young New York Yankees.

 

July 6th, 1941:

The New York Yankees dedicate a monument in center field to the last Lou Gehrig, honoring their deceased captain. Gehrig had died of ALS just a month earlier.

July 7th, 1937:

It was the All-Star Game, the fourth ever. Famous Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig drove in four runs in the game with a homer and double. The American League beat the National League 8-3. It was the first time a U.S. President attended an All-Star game. Franklin Roosevelt threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

July 9th, 1937:

Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio hit for the cycle, hitting two home runs, a triple, double and single in a win over the Washington Senators. He would hit for the cycle again in 1948.

July 10th, 1914:

At the time, the Yankees were playing at the polo grounds in New York City. The polo grounds had no lighting. The Yankees won the second game of a doubleheader with only one hit. The game had to be postponed due to darkness. The Yankee would never win another by just one hit until 2016 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

July 10th, 2001:

Derek Jeter hit the first Yankee home run in an All-Star game in 42 years. The last to do it was Yogi Berra in 1959.

 

 

Yankees’ legend Derek Jeter and the 2020 class will have Hall induction ceremony in September with ‘limited’ crowds

New York Yankees, Derek Jeter

The Hall of Fame Class of 2020, led by New York Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter, couldn’t enjoy an induction ceremony last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, fans who want to see their idols immortalized will have their chance to do it in person this year.

Jane Forbes Clark, the Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, announced today that this summer’s Induction Ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 8. According to a note published in the Baseball Hall of Fame website, the event will be ‘in front of limited crowds as an outdoor ticketed event’.

For those who want to see it in TV, the ceremony will be broadcast live exclusively on MLB Network.

The Yankees’ longtime shortstop is set for immortality

The Yankees’ legendary shortstop was elected to the Hall in early 2020, and was a vote shy of unanimity. Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker will also be inducted to the Hall this summer as part of the 2020 class. No players were selected in 2021.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors and our Staff, we are thrilled to be able to welcome our Hall of Famers – the living legends – and fans back to Cooperstown to celebrate the Induction of the Class of 2020,” Clark said. “Returning the Induction Ceremony to an outdoor event will provide the baseball community with the opportunity to visit Cooperstown and celebrate the Induction of four of the game’s Greats.”

In the past, lawn seating was unrestricted, but this time it will require tickets. Those tickets will be made available starting on July 12.

Roughly 55,000 fans attended the 2019 induction ceremony, but that is unrealistic under the current COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent health and safety guidelines.

Yankees fans who want to see Jeter, a five-time World Series champion with the Bombers, enter the Hall of Fame right at the venue will have their opportunity.

New York Yankees: This week in Yankee history, Goodbye Babe, Hello Derek

New York Yankees, Yankees, Derek Jeter

There probably isn’t a day that goes by that something in New York Yankee history hasn’t happened that is memorable in their 109-year history. Here is a look at this week’s happenings in that history.

1997, May 29th:

On this day, the New York Yankees acquired Hideki Irabu from the San Diego Padres. It turned out to be one of the worst trades ever made by the Yankees. He was 29-20 over four years. The only problem was that when he was acquired, he was supposed to be the new Yankee ace. That obviously didn’t come close to working out.

2002, May 29th:

Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens becomes the third pitcher in the majors to have 10 or more strikeouts in at least 100 games pitched. The other two were Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson.

1938, May 30th:

On this day, the Yankees had record attendance. It was Memorial Day and a doubleheader for the Yankees against the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees sweep the Red Sox in front of a crowd of 81 841 packed into the Stadium. It’s a record that will never be beaten. The new Stadium only has a capacity of 54,341.

1938, May 31st:

Lou Gehrig played his 2,000th consecutive game in a win over the Boston Red Sox. Gehrig would play another 130 games before ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) ended his Yankee career.

2009, June 1st:

The New York Yankees created a record that has not been broken to this day. They played 18 consecutive games without committing an error. The following day Jorge Posada would throw a bullet out into centerfield when trying to gun down a base stealer.

1935 June 2nd:

Former Yankee pitcher and slugger Babe Ruth announces his retirement from baseball.

1941, June 2nd:

The New York Yankees arrived in Detroit to play a series against the Tigers. Upon their arrival, they found out that Yankee Captain Lou Gehrig has passed away in this sleep from ALS. It was just 17  days before his 38th birthday. Ironically it was 16 years ago exactly that he made the Yankee major league lineup.

1932, June 3rd:

Playing the Philadelphia Athletics, the Yankees’ Lou Gehrig becomes the first player in the modern era to hit four home runs in the same game. The Yankees won the slugfest 20-13 and scored a record 50 bases in the game.

1998, June 3rd:

After escaping Cuba only six months earlier, Orlando Hernandez “El Duque” got his first Yankee win.  He defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-1 in front of an adoring Yankees crowd at Yankee Stadium.

2003, June 3rd:

Derek Jeter was named the 11th captain of the New York Yankees. He would go on to being one of the best players in the game. He would play another 13 years for the Yankees. He was a 14-time American League All-Star and was sixth all-time with 3,645 career hits. He spent all 20 years of his career with the Yankees.

 

 

 

Yankees legend Derek Jeter will have his documentary: ‘The Captain’ will be ready in 2022

New York Yankees, Yankees, Derek Jeter

For New York Yankees’ fans, watching Derek Jeter play and proudly wear the pinstripes with class and dignity was a joy for almost two full decades. He certainly wasn’t the most feared power hitter of all, but mastered the art of putting the bat to the ball, going the other way, and had a penchant for the dramatic.

ESPN, like all of us, thinks Jeter’s career is worthy of global admiration, and announced that it will be producing a documentary about the Yankees’ legend (link to NJ Advance Media article here).

The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand was the one that broke the news Tuesday on Twitter. “ESPN working with Derek Jeter on a doc about him, called, “The Captain” was the message he wrote on his account.

The Captain will be a 6-part TV documentary, and will be ready for people to enjoy it in 2022. Yankees fans all over the world will be able to relive the on-field legacy that Jeter managed to build as a core performer in the dynasty that won four World Series titles in a span of five years between 1996 and 2000.

The Yankees’ shortstop was in a class of his own

The Yankees’ eternal number 2 announced his retirement from baseball after the 2014 season was finished. He called it quits with 3,465 career hits, an amazing number for a shortstop and one that ranks sixth in the all-time list.

His career was spent with the Yankees, and in his 20 years with the team, he won multiple accolades, most notably five World Series (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009), 14 All-Star games, five Gold Glove awards, and five Silver Slugger awards.

He made his long-awaited return to MLB in 2017, but as a CEO and part-owner of the Miami Marlins, a role that maintains to this day.

He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020, and was a vote short of being the second unanimous selection after his longtime Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera.

New York Yankees Top 10’s: Is your favorite shortstop among the top 10? (videos)

New York Yankees, Derek Jeter

The New York Yankees, in their 107-year glorious history, have had their share of great baseball players.  From Babe Ruth to Joe DiMaggio to Ron Guidry, Derek Jeter, and dozens more, some of the best baseball players in history have graced Yankee Stadium.  In my other top ten columns, I’ve dealt with the other positions. In this installment, I will attempt to identify the great Yankee shortstops.  With so many great shortstops, some writers will differ in the order of their preferences.  Here are this writer’s top 10.

One through five is relatively easy; beyond that gets more difficult as the New York Yankees are more known for their outfielders, 2nd and 3rd baseman. If the Yankees have a weakest position in their history, it is probably at shortstop. Also, the Yankees have had players known for their offense and defense of their positions, but they were more well know at another position. A good example is Alex Rodgriguez, one of the top five shortstops in all of the baseball lore, but he played 3rd base for the Yankees. Joe Sewell, the Hall of Fame shortstop, could have been included in this list, but I did not consider him as he only played two years for the Yankees.

10.  Tom Tresh

First, let me say about Tom Tresh that he would have been in the top five except that he played more in the New York Yankee Stadium outfield than in short. Tresh played nine years for the Yankees with a career batting average of .247 with 140 home runs, five seasons with 20 or more, while being an excellent defender both short and in the outfield.

9. Gene Michael

Gene Michael was valuable to the New York Yankees as a player, coach, manager, and front office.  He was as responsible for the last ’90s, 2000’s Yankee dynasty as anyone in the organization. Michael started his seven-year stint with the Yankees in 1968. He was not known as a hitter and less so as a long ball hitter.  What he was known for was his excellent defense at short.  He is another Yankee that could have ranked higher on this list if his offense was in line with his defense.

8. Mark Koenig

Many present-day fans don’t know Mark Koenig; he played for the Yankees for six years, starting in 1925.  Koenig was an excellent hitter for that time, hitting .285.  He was not a home run hitter but hit for contact.  In 1928 he hit .319 for the season.   He was agile at short and played 2nd and 3rd when needed.  In 1927 he had third-most assists at shortstop in all of baseball (423).  In the World Series that the Yankees lost that year, he hit .500 without any errors in 28 chances.

7. Kid Elberfeld

Kid Elberfeld is another Yankee that few fans don’t remember.  He played short for the New York Yankees between 1903 and 1909.  In his seven years, he averaged .268 with 28 home runs.  As with many players at that time, he played all infield positions except for the 1st base.  His fielding average was .938, which was excellent for shortstops at that time.

6. Bucky Dent

Some may say that Bucky Dent should be further down this list or not on it it all.  I place him sixth due to his exceptional spotlight play in the 1978 one-game playoff with the Red Sox. Dent hit .239 while with the Yankees and was an All-Star twice, mostly because of his defense.  Dent was primarily known as a clutch contact hitter hitting 518 hits as a Yankee.

5. Frank Crosetti

Frank Crosetti is my choice as the 5th best Yankee shortstop.  Crosetti played his entire 17-year career with the Yankees, which brings him up on the list substantially. He hit .245 with over a thousand runs scored.  He was a two-time All-Star and a three-time MVP candidate.  Crosetti started his career at short for the Yankees in 1932, a position he held until a poor season in 1940 when Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto took over for him.  But he retook the job when Rizzuto left for the Navy. Rizzuto rejoined the club in  1946. Crosetti then became a player/coach for the club when he retired in 1948.  He had a .948 fielding percentage as a Yankee

4. Roger Peckinpaugh

Roger Peckinpaugh was a Yankee for nine years and was an MVP candidate in 1914 when he was a player/manager.  He is the only one on the list to have managed the Yankees. He had a .949 fielding average while with the Yankees, which was quite good for that era.  He had a .259 batting average over the span.  He was known as a contact hitter with the ability to steal bases.  He stole 38 in 1914.  In 1921 Peckinpaugh led all of baseball with the most assists in one game (9).  After leaving the Yankees, he had a long managerial career ending with the Indians in 1941.  He later became general manager and president of the Indians.

3. Tony Kubek

Tony Kubek was one of the most beloved New York Yankees. He played 9 years with the Yankees. In 1957 he won the Rookie of the Year award.  He played from 1957 to 1965.  He was an All-Star four times and was an MVP candidate three times.  Kubek is the first utility player to make the list, and although he played all over the field, 80% of his games were played at short, which is where he won all his awards.  The only position that Kubek did not play for the Yankees is that of pitcher or catcher.  In Game Seven of the 1960 World Series, he bungled a double play when he was hit in the throat by a bad hop that knocked him out.  At short, he had an excellent .967 fielding percentage.

2.  Phil Rizzuto

Known as much for his career in broadcasting and his onfield play at short. Rizutto can not be overlooked as one of the best Yankee shortstops ever. The “Scooter” had a .968 fielding percentage at short in his 13 Yankee seasons.  Rizzuto was of small stature, and the manager at the time that Rizzuto made his major league debut in 1941, Joe McCarthy once said Rizzuto was too small to be a good baseball player.  History has shown that McCarthy was very wrong.  In 13 years, he had a fielding percentage of .968.  He hit .273 over the life of his career, with almost 1,600 hits over the span.  Rizzuto, the five-time All-Star, was an MVP candidate eight times, capturing the award in 1950.  Rizzuto was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. When he left the Yankees in 1956, he had over 1200 double-plays under his belt.

He contributed to seven Yankee World Series championships and is sixth all-time in World Series games played, eighth in hits with 45, fourth in walks with 30, and tied for third in stolen bases with 10. Rizzuto would have an exceptional 40 years broadcasting on radio and TV for the New York Yankees.  His folksy style embraced him to the Yankee fans.  His signature “Holy Cow” was known throughout baseball even to this day.

1.  Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter is the hands-down best New York Yankee shortstop ever.  This baby bomber spent his entire Hall of Fame career, 20 years with the Yankees, all of them at shortstop. He is one of the very few career Yankees to have never played a game at another position during their career.  Jeter was the most popular of all Yankees from the late ’90s to the present.  He was a member of the “Core four” that brought the Yankees to five World Series Championships.

After 20 years at short, he had the highest fielding percentage (.976) of any Yankee shortstop in the club’s history.  Add to that, Jeter was clutch at every important opportunity.  He hit an amazing batting average of .310, the eighth highest of any Yankee.  He led all Yankees, playing 2,247 games while getting a historic 3,465 hits.  He was also number one with 544 doubles.

Getting back to Jeter being clutch, he had a unique ability to find himself in impact-changing moments during the regular and postseason.  Although the shortstop was one of the most modest players, always putting the team first, he seemed to relish it.  A few examples include him getting his 3000th hit.  He didn’t just get a hit; he did it in style with a smashing home run.  When it came time for Jeter to retire in his last appearance at Yankee Stadium, he turned “fantasy into reality”[1] when he hit the walk-off home run in his final game.

During his career with the Yankees, Jeter was Rookie of the Year in 1996; he was an All-Star 14 times, a twelve-time MVP candidate, a five-time Gold Glove award winner, and a Silver Slugger award winner five times.  Jeter was one of those unique players that played consistently throughout his entire career and retired at the top of his game.  Jeter became the second Yankee shortstop to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame to be inducted into the 2020 class.  He missed a unanimous vote by just one sour sportswriter. Originally scheduled for July 2020, with coronavirus concerns, the induction ceremony has been moved to this July 25th at Cooperstown, New York.

New York Yankees: Derek Jeter’s enshrinement into the Hall of Fame will be like no other

New York Yankees, Derek Jeter

The New York Yankee’s had a famous shortstop named Derek Jeter for twenty years. During that time, he had many firsts, which continues today even when he no longer plays baseball. This year on July 25 Jeter will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame after waiting a long year when the ceremonies were cancelled last year due to the coronavirus. The ceremony on July 25 will for the first time be held indoors without adoring fans. It will be a television event.

Yesterday the Hall officials made this announcement:

“Though we are having to cancel our 2021 Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, the Hall of Fame is maintaining its commitment to hold an Induction Ceremony on July 25,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “We had hoped to be in a position to welcome loyal baseball fans back to Cooperstown for Induction Weekend, but with the continuing uncertainties created by COVID-19, the Board of Directors has decided not to hold Induction Weekend ceremonies at the traditional Clark Sports Center location. We have prepared alternative plans to conduct our annual Awards Presentation and Induction Ceremony as television events taking place indoors and adhering to all of the required New York State guidelines.”

The Hall of Fame’s 2021 Induction Ceremony will honor the members of the Class of 2020: Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker. Being honored during the Awards Presentation will be 2021 Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting excellence, Al Michaels, and the 2020 Frick Award winner, Ken Harrelson; the 2021 Baseball Writers’ Association of America Career Excellence Award winner, Dick Kaegel, and the 2020 BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner, Nick Cafardo; and the 2020 Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award winner, David Montgomery.

The New York Yankee Derek Jeter and the other inductees will get there day but not in the sun. The 2019 ceremony was held in front of a record 55,000 fans, listening and cheering. That will no longer be the case as inductees will receive their award and give their acceptance speech before a digital television camera instead of an adoring audience. It will be a very different weekend in Cooperstown, but at least the awards will go on.

New York Yankees History: On this day after Christmas one of the Happiest/Sad days of the last decade (video)

New York Yankees, Yankees, Derek Jeter

No New York Yankee player has had a much more impact on the Yankees’ success in the past two decades than Derek Jeter. In an important moment, he always seemed to rise to the occasion, even when it didn’t seem likely. On the last day of his career at Yankee Stadium, it seemed that the game was choreographed for Jeter even though they would not go on to a postseason appearance in 2014. He retired with 3,464 hits and 260 home runs, and a career .816 OPS.

Not only was Derek Jeter a great hitter, but he was also an excellent defender as one of the best shortstops in baseball. But one of the strangest talents that Jeter had was the ability to accomplish a particular feat and do it unexpectedly. On the evening of Oct. 13, 2001, the seventh inning of the third game of the American League Division Series between the Yankees and Athletics, and Jeter was in the right place at the right time. With Oakland’s Jason Giambi on third base. With Mike Mussina on the mound, Torrence Long hit one down the right-field line, Spencer fielded the ball but overthrew both cut off men. Jeter mysteriously appeared past the first baseline getting the ball and flipping it to Posada, who tagged out Giambi. This is an astonishing play that he has never been seen then or since.

One of Derek Jeter’s most stressful times was the games leading up to his 3,000th hit, a record seldom seen in baseball.  In all of baseball history, only 27 players had had 3,000 hits. Jeter entered his 2011 season struggling and not used to bad press, but after a two-hit game in Cleveland lifted his average to .257, Jeter — a .314 career hitter before this season — acknowledged that the scrutiny of his struggles had taken some fun from the chase for 3,000.

“It’s kind of hard to enjoy it when there’s a lot of negativity that’s out there,” Jeter said. “Hopefully, I might be able to enjoy it the next few days.”

Nevertheless, the hit watch was on among the New York Yankee faithful. Jeter was known for having his Mom and Dad in the stands for important moments in Jeter’s career. This was no different in the days leading up to his 3,000 hit moment.  On July 9, 2011, he entered the game at Yankee Stadium just two hits short of the remarkable accomplishment. Jeter would get a hit in the game, drawing him even closer. Again referring to Jeter over accomplishing, in his second at-bat, he would launch a David Price breaking ball over the left-field fence for his 3,000th hit, a homer no one expected. With a sold-out Stadium, he would hit five for five and hit the winning hit in the game.

With so many important moments in the future Hall of Famer’s career, it wasn’t easy to pick on a particular moment of accomplishment. But today, I have picked one of the most successful moments of his career. With his career all but over, the Yankee star played his last game at Yankee Stadium. It was one of the happiest days for Yankee fans as they celebrated his career, but at the same time is was sad for the fans to know they would never see their favorite shortstop play again.

But even with the celebration, there was a game to be played that day against the division winning Baltimore Orioles on that afternoon in 2014. There was nothing on the line, but somehow the game took on special meaning for Yankee fans. The stands were full for that last Yankee game. Like in many games, his family was in the stands. As the game progressed to a tie in the ninth inning, fans didn’t know if Jeter would be taken out of the game to give him his moment in the bottom of the ninth. But the decision was made to have Jeter hit instead. He took to the plate and hit a game-winning walk-off a line drive to end his career as if it was choreographed.

That late afternoon saw a celebration of Derek Jeter that would last long after the game was over without a single fan leaving the ballpark. The celebration will be one that will be long-remembered by New York Yankee fans. Below will remind you of that game. Thank you, Derek Jeter, for an amazing career that will lead to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

 

New York Yankees Top 10s: Great Yankee shortstops, who was your favorite? (video)

New York Yankees, Yankees, Derek Jeter

The New York Yankees in their 107-year glorious history have had their share of great baseball players.  From Babe Ruth to Joe DiMaggio to Ron Guidry, Derek Jeter, and dozens more, some of the best baseball players in history have graced Yankee Stadium.  In my other top ten columns, I’ve dealt with the pitchers, catchers, and baseman.  In this installment, I will attempt to identify the great Yankee shortstops.  With so many great shortstops, some writers will differ with the order of their preferences.  Here are this writer’s top 10.

One through five is relatively easy, beyond that gets more difficult as the New York Yankees are more known for their outfielders, 2nd and 3rd baseman. If the Yankee has a position that is the weakest in their history, it is probably at shortstop. Also, the Yankees have had players that were known for their offense and defense of their positions, but they were more well know at another position. A good example is Alex Rodgriguez, one of the top five shortstops in all of the baseball lore, but he played 3rd base for the Yankees. Joe Sewell, the Hall of Fame shortstop, could have been included in this list, but I did not consider him as he only played two years for the Yankees.

10.  Tom Tresh

First, let me say about Tom Tresh that he would have been in the top five with the exception that he played more in the New York Yankee Stadium outfield than in at short. Tresh played nine years for the Yankees with a career batting average of .247 with 140 home runs, five seasons with 20 or more, while being an excellent defender at both short and in the outfield.

9. Gene Michael

Gene Michael was valuable to the New York Yankees, as a player, coach, manager, and in the front office.  He was as much responsible for the last ’90s, 2000’s Yankee dynasty as anyone in the organization. Michael started his seven-year stint with the Yankees in 1968. He was not known as a hitter and less so as a long ball hitter.  What he was known for was his excellent defense at short.  He is another Yankees that could have ranked higher on this list if his offense was in line with his defense.

8. Mark Koenig

Many present-day fans don’t know Mark Koenig, he played for the Yankees for six years starting in 1925.  Koenig was an excellent hitter for that time, hitting .285.  He was not a home run hitter but hit for contact.  In 1928 he hit .319 for the season.   He was agile at short and played 2nd and 3rd when needed.  In 1927 he had third-most assists at shortstop in all of baseball (423).  In the World Series that the Yankees lost that year, he hit .500 without any errors in 28 chances.

7. Kid Elberfeld

Kid Elberfeld is another Yankee that few fans don’t remember.  He played short for the New York Yankees between 1903 and 1909.  In his seven years, he averaged .268 with 28 home runs.  As with many players at that time, he played all infield positions with the exception of the 1st base.  His fielding average was .938, which was excellent for shortstops at that time.

6. Bucky Dent

Some may say that Bucky Dent should be further down this list or not on it it all.  I place him sixth due to his exceptional spotlight play in the 1978 one-game playoff with the Red Sox. Dent hit .239 while with the Yankees and was an All-Star twice mostly because of his defense.  Dent was primarily known as a clutch contact hitter hitting 518 hits as a Yankee.

5. Frank Crosetti

Frank Crosetti is my choice as the 5th best Yankee shortstop.  Crosetti played his entire 17-year career with the Yankees, which brings him up on the list substantially. He hit .245 with over a thousand runs scored.  He was a two-time All-Star and a three-time MVP candidate.  Crossetti started his career at short for the Yankees in 1932, a position he held until a poor season in 1940 when Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto took over for him at short.  But he retook the job when Rizzuto left for the Navy. Rizzuto rejoined the club in  946. Crosetti then became a player/coach for the club when he retired in 1948.  He had a .948 fielding percentage as a Yankee

4. Roger Peckinpaugh

Roger Peckinpaugh was a Yankee for nine years and was an MVP candidate in 1914 when he was a player/manager.  He is the only one of the list to have managed the Yankees. He had a .949 fielding average while with the Yankees, which was quite good for that era.  He had a .259 batting average over the span.  He was known as a contact hitter with the ability to steal bases.  He stole 38 in 1914.  In 1921 Peckinpaugh led all of baseball with the most assists in one game (9).  After leaving the Yankees, he had a long managerial career ending with the Indians in 1941.  He later became general manager and president of the Indians.

3. Tony Kubek

Tony Kubek was one of the most beloved New York Yankees. He played 9 years with the Yankees in 1957 he won the Rookie of the Year award.  He played from 1957 to 1965.  He was an All-Star four times and was an MVP candidate three times.  Kubek is the first utility player to make the list, and although he played all over the field, 80% of his games were played at short, which is where he won all his awards.  The only position that Kubek did not play for the Yankees is that of pitcher or catcher.  In Game Seven of the 1960 World Series, he bungled a double play when he was hit in the throat by a bad hop that knocked him out.  At short, he had an excellent .967 fielding percentage.

2.  Phil Rizzuto

Known as much for his career in broadcasting and his onfield play at short. Rizutto can not be overlooked as one of the best Yankee shortstops ever. The “Scooter” had a .968 fielding percentage at short in his 13 Yankee seasons.  Rizzuto was of small stature, and the manager at the time that Rizzuto made his major league debut in 1941 Joe McCarthy once said Rizzuto was too small to be a good baseball player.  History has shown that McCarthy was very wrong.  IN 13 years, he had a fielding percentage of .968.  He hit .273 over the life of his career with almost 1,600 hits over the span.  Rizzuto the five-time All-Star was an MVP candidate eight-time capturing the award in 1950.  Rizzuto was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. When he left the Yankees in 1956, he had over 1200 double-plays under his belt.

He contributed to seven Yankee World Series championships and is sixth all-time in World Series games played, eighth in hits with 45, fourth in walks with 30, and tied for third in stolen bases with 10. Rizzuto would go on to have an exceptional 40 years broadcasting on radio and TV for the New York Yankees.  His folksy style embraced him to the Yankee fans.  His signature “Holy Cow” was known throughout baseball even to this day.

1.  Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter is the hands-down best New York Yankee shortstop ever.  This baby bomber spent his entire Hall of Fame career, 20 years with the Yankees all of them at shortstop. He is one of the very few career Yankees to have never played a game at another position at any time during there career.  Jeter was the most popular of all Yankees from the late ’90s to the present.  He was a member of the “Core four” that brought the Yankees to five World Series Championships.

After 20 years at short, he had the highest fielding percentage (.976) of any Yankee shortstop in the history of the club.  Add to that, Jeter was clutch at every important opportunity.  He hit an amazing batting average of .310, the eighth highest of any Yankee.  He led all Yankees playing 2,247 games while getting a historic 3,465 hits.  He was also number one with 544 doubles.

Getting back to Jeter being clutch, he had a unique ability to find himself in impact changing moments during the regular and postseason.  He seemed to relish it, although the shortstop was one of the most modest players always putting the team first.  A few examples include him getting his 3000th hit.  He didn’t just get a hit, he did it in style with a smashing home run.  When it came time for Jeter to retire in his last appearance at Yankee Stadium, he turned fantasy into reality when he hit the walk-off home run in his final game.

Jeter, during his career with the Yankees, was Rookie of the Year in 1996, he was an All-Star 14 times, a twelve-time MVP candidate, a five-time Gold Glove award winner, and a Silver Slugger award winner five times.  Jeter was one fo those unique players that played consistently throughout his entire career and retired at the top of his game.  Jeter became the second Yankee shortstop to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame to be inducted in the 2020 class.  He missed a unanimous vote by just one sour sportswriter.

In selecting my top ten, I valued time with the club, performance as per Baseball-Reference.com.  Peak career performance and performance in postseason play was also a factor.  Special situations like changing career positions were also a consideration.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

New York Yankees: Six years ago today, Derek Jeter walked off Yankee Stadium with style

New York Yankees, Yankees, Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter had one of the most legendary New York Yankees careers. On September 25, 2014, Jeter played the final game of his 20-year career at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.  And, in usual Jeter style, he did it in the most amazing way. With the game tied between the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles, the legendary voice announced: Derek Jeter, number 2 Derek Jeter. Jeter stepped to the plate and hit a walk-off single to win the game for the Yankees.

Jeter throughout his career always seemed to come up big in key situations. Just three years earlier with his 3,000th hit on the line. Jeter singled for his 2,999th hit. In his next at-bat, he got his 3,000th with a dramatic home run to left field. He ended up going 5 for 5 on the day. His illustrious career seemed to be almost choreographed at important moments.

Tonight six years to the day he had that walk-off game at Yankee Stadium, his Miami Marlins team will meet up with the New York Yankees on the same field where he ended his baseball career.