Yesterday Derek Jeter stepped off the field one last time. Some people are calling him the greatest Yankee ever, while others are arguing that some of the older players (Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle) would rank ahead of him.
But one thing is certain. For anyone younger than around 40 years old, Derek Jeter is the man who helped bring Championships to the New York Yankees.
With his career now over, let’s take a look at what he brought to this team, and to the league:
- 5-Time World Series Winner (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009)
- 2000 World Series MVP
- 1996 Rookie Of The Year
- 5 Gold Gloves
- 5 Silver Sluggers
- 14 Time All-Star
- 6th All-time in Hits
- 9th All-time in Runs
And most importantly:
- The Captain
Yes, he was never the strongest Yankee in any specific year…someone almost always hit more (or better) than him (except when he lead the league of course), but he was consistent.
And his consistency is why we came to love him, and why the league gave him the farewell it did. When the game was on the line, there is no other player you’d rather have at the plate, then Derek Jeter.
And Thursday night, in his final game at The House That Jeter Built, in his final game as the Shortstop for The Yanks, Derek came up in the bottom of the 9th, and knocked in the winning run, with his signature hit to right field. Add that to a great list of moments in his career, moments including (in no particular order):
- The Flip
- The Dive
- Jeffrey Maier
- Hitting a Homerun for Hit #3000
- Being named The Captain
- Earning the title Mr. November
- Becoming the All-Time Hits leader for the Yankees
So thank you Derek Jeter for allowing me to see my baseball team win 5 championships. Others may hate all they want, but no other baseball team has had that success in my lifetime, and I am proud to be a Yankees fan.