June 26 – Happy Birthday Derek Jeter

derek-jeterWhen the ankle he broke in the 2012 ALCS has finally healed, Derek Jeter will begin his nineteenth season as a Yankee. Since he put on the pinstripes the team has made postseason play seventeen times, played in seven World Series and won five of them. He passed Lou Gehrig as the all-time leader in career hits as a Yankee during the 2009 season and in 2011 became the first player in franchise history to reach 3,000 hits while wearing the pinstripes. I consider the five-for-five game he put together to reach that magical plateau one of the greatest all-time individual game performances in Yankee franchise history. He is among the top ten Yankees lifetime in just about every offensive category and in most cases among the top five. At the end of the 2012 regular season Jeter was in eleventh place on the all-time hits list with 3,304, just eleven behind Eddie Collins and a spot in the top-ten.

He is an extremely gifted player and team leader who somehow copes perfectly with the stresses of being a star athlete in the Big Apple. There are those who claim Jeter is over-rated. Those of us who follow the Yankees on a game-by-game and season-by-season basis ignore such ignorance.

I’m the first to admit that age has impacted Jeter’s overall abilities on the baseball field. He’s not the player he was five years ago. But he was still good enough to lead all of baseball in hits during the 2012 season with 216 and when his ankle finally heals properly, I expect him to be still good enough to continue his career as the greatest Yankee shortstop ever.

When Derek is ready to call it quits, his number “2″ jersey will be retired and five years later he will be honored with an induction ceremony in Cooperstown. Watching him earn that ceremony has been one of the great pleasures I’ve experienced as a fifty-three-year fan of the Bombers.

The predictions that Jeter was destined to become a great Yankee that were made at the beginning of his career turned out to be correct. Similar predictions made for this former Yankee outfielder who shares “The Captain’s” June 26th birthday would turn out to be far less accurate. This one-time Yankee LOOGY was also born on this date.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1995 NYY 15 51 48 5 12 4 1 0 7 0 3 11 .250 .294 .375 .669
1996 NYY 157 654 582 104 183 25 6 10 78 14 48 102 .314 .370 .430 .800
1997 NYY 159 748 654 116 190 31 7 10 70 23 74 125 .291 .370 .405 .775
1998 NYY 149 694 626 127 203 25 8 19 84 30 57 119 .324 .384 .481 .864
1999 NYY 158 739 627 134 219 37 9 24 102 19 91 116 .349 .438 .552 .989
2000 NYY 148 679 593 119 201 31 4 15 73 22 68 99 .339 .416 .481 .896
2001 NYY 150 686 614 110 191 35 3 21 74 27 56 99 .311 .377 .480 .858
2002 NYY 157 730 644 124 191 26 0 18 75 32 73 114 .297 .373 .421 .794
2003 NYY 119 542 482 87 156 25 3 10 52 11 43 88 .324 .393 .450 .844
2004 NYY 154 721 643 111 188 44 1 23 78 23 46 99 .292 .352 .471 .823
2005 NYY 159 752 654 122 202 25 5 19 70 14 77 117 .309 .389 .450 .839
2006 NYY 154 715 623 118 214 39 3 14 97 34 69 102 .343 .417 .483 .900
2007 NYY 156 714 639 102 206 39 4 12 73 15 56 100 .322 .388 .452 .840
2008 NYY 150 668 596 88 179 25 3 11 69 11 52 85 .300 .363 .408 .771
2009 NYY 153 716 634 107 212 27 1 18 66 30 72 90 .334 .406 .465 .871
2010 NYY 157 739 663 111 179 30 3 10 67 18 63 106 .270 .340 .370 .710
2011 NYY 131 607 546 84 162 24 4 6 61 16 46 81 .297 .355 .388 .743
2012 NYY 159 740 683 99 216 32 0 15 58 9 45 90 .316 .362 .429 .791
18 Yrs 2585 11895 10551 1868 3304 524 65 255 1254 348 1039 1743 .313 .382 .448 .829
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2013.

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