Baseball Immortal: Derek Jeter
by Danny Peary
Page Street Publishing, 2015
He was one of the most humble, yet most exciting players to watch over the past couple of decades. New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter redefined what a player could do under the pressure—and despite the constant attention—of the media in the Big Apple. Everything he accomplished was handled with poise and character, and he retired as one of the most respected players in the game. Looking through the pages of quotes by Jeter, and by others about Jeter, a reader can get a sense of what a special player he was going all the way back to high school.
Danny Peary’s collection of quotes does not bring much to light that was not already known. Despite being a highly private person, Jeter’s exploits on the field were widely reported. However, bringing all the information together into one place is an invaluable resource to fans of #2. Jeter’s family members, teammates, coaches, and opponents are all quoted in this extensive volume. Perhaps the best line comes from former Tampa Bay skipper Joe Maddon, who said, “They created the Hall of Fame for players like him. Never a doubt. Totally earned. He may be the first 100 percenter.”
Derek Jeter fans will treasure this book about one of the most loved figures in recent Yankees history.
by Derek Jeter with photographs by Christopher Anderson
Gallery/Jeter Publishing, 2014
The iconic Yankees shortstop who suited up for his last Major League Baseball game several months ago has released a book giving an overview of his career through photographs and personal memories of his experiences. Derek Jeter‘s words are kept brief, letting the photographs tell the majority of the story, divided into categories rather than chronologies. From Spring Training to Opening Day, his 3000th hit to frequent All-Star appearances, #2 takes baseball fans on a journey through his prolific career.
Jeter was always a class-act on the field, and his humility shines throughout this book. Never taking anything for granted, he speaks highly of his teammates, especially the others in the “Core 4” (Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera).
The photography of Christopher Anderson featured in Jeter Unfiltered is breathtaking. In addition to his contributions, numerous action photos from news agencies grace the pages, taking fans back to the excitement Jeter often created on the baseball diamond.
New York Yankee fans and Derek Jeter fans alike, along with fans of baseball history, will love Jeter Unfiltered.
It was a fairy tale ending for Derek Jeter at Yankee Stadium as he drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. TWJ contributor Patrick commemorated the event with one of his fantastic Nu-Card Baseball Scoops “fun cards.” Jeter was a class act, and even though I have never been a Yankees fan, I’ve always been a Jeter fan.
Long before Todd Frazier put on a major league uniform, he stood next to Derek Jeter on a baseball diamond. As a member of the Little League World Series champion in 1998, Frazier and his teammates got to stand next to their Yankee counterparts before a game in New York. But Jeter wasn’t Frazier’s favorite Yankee at the time; find out here who Frazier actually wanted to be standing next to that day.
TWJ contributor Patrick sent over this fantastic “fun card” in the style of the 1977 Topps “Turn Back The Clock” subset. It’s neat to see how much Frazier has grown, and how little Jeter has changed in sixteen years. Even though Frazier now plays third base rather than shortstop, he still shares one thing with Jeter: both are class acts.
I thought it would be interesting to go back through the years and see how many teams have won the World Series without a Hall of Fame player (managers are not under consideration). The most recent team to win with a HOFer was the 1996 Yankees with Wade Boggs, but that will change very soon with Pedro Martinez (2004 Red Sox) likely going in next year. Prior to the 1997 Marlins, you have to go back to 1988 to find a Famerless team (though Don Sutton did play part of the year in LA). Two other teams in the 80s accomplished the feat (1984 Tigers and 1981 Dodgers); as far as I can determine no older team won without at least one Hall of Famer on the roster.
Below are the Famerless World Series winners. Player names in italics are potential future Famers in my opinion. While the Giants and Red Sox and even the ’08 Phillies have a few that could one day be considered Cooperstown worthy, it is doubtful anyone from the 2002 Angels squad will be enshrined.
- 2013 Red Sox
- 2012 Giants
- 2011 Cardinals (Albert Pujols)
- 2010 Giants
- 2009 Yankees (Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera)
- 2008 Phillies
- 2007 Red Sox (Curt Schilling)
- 2006 Cardinals (Pujols, Scott Rolen)
- 2005 White Sox (Paul Konerko) (* Frank Thomas was with the team, but did not play in the postseason. Can’t remember why, injury maybe?)
- 2004 Red Sox (Schilling, Martinez)
- 2003 Marlins (Miguel Cabrera)
- 2002 Angels
- 2001 Diamondbacks (Schilling, Randy Johnson)
- 2000 Yankees (Jeter, Rivera)
- 1999 Yankees (Jeter, Rivera)
- 1998 Yankees (Jeter, Rivera, Tim Raines)
- 1997 Marlins
- 1988 Dodgers (* Sutton played during the season, but was released in August)
- 1984 Tigers (Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Jack Morris)
- 1981 Dodgers (dare I say Steve Garvey?)
Of course, the Dodgers had Tom Lasorda and the Tigers had Sparky Anderson leading them to the promised land, so even without any future Famers in the field, the teams had brilliant minds in the dugout.
In the American League, I vote with my head for the most part. Who is having the best year at each position? There are a few exceptions to this:
- Derek Jeter will always get my vote at shortstop. Especially this year, his last. He has been a classy individual during his entire career, and deserves to be honored at the All-Star Game just as Cal Ripken was in 2001 and Mike Schmidt was in 1989.
- Mike Trout will likewise always get my vote in the outfield. He is hands-down my favorite non-Reds player.
- I despise designated hitters, so I chose the one with the worst stats. Logan Morrison for the win!
In the National League, I’m Reds almost-all-the-way. I do not like Ryan Ludwick. Not even a little. So he will not ever get my support for the All-Star Game. Giancarlo Stanton is my third outfielder behind Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton.
How many of these guys do I expect to actually get selected? On the American League side, I believe they all deserve it (except Morrison). On the National League side, not so much. As I mentioned yesterday, Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco are having career years so far. I would love to see them get the call. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips might actually get voted in by the fans, and while they wouldn’t be the worst selections ever, there are others having better years.
Is Hamilton fever alive outside of Cincinnati? I have no idea. But it’s pretty hard to compete with Stanton, Justin Upton, and a handful of other outfielders that are drilling baseballs like Black & Decker are paying them. In all honesty, Hamilton’s stats don’t warrant an All-Star appearance this year, but he is a lot of fun to watch running around the bases when he can get on.
Topps posted a bunch of photos of 2014 Topps Heritage on their Facebook page yesterday. In general, I like Topps Heritage. But there are some things that I definitely don’t like.
I like Derek Jeter. I don’t like that his card is a “high-numbered base card” in the 2014 Topps Heritage set. The same goes for Yasiel Puig, Miguel Cabrera, and Max Scherzer. Seriously, is there any reason to buy a pack if all of the superstars are in the high numbers?
|I am glad that Heritage includes managers in the set. It’s neat to see Ryne Sandberg, Don Mattingly, John Farrell and other former big leaguers still involved in the game.
I don’t like that there are only seventeen managers who will get cards in the set. Where is Bryan Price? No, he never played major league baseball, and he has never had a baseball card. But he (and the other twelve non-card managers) still skippers a team and should have a card if seventeen other managers have a card.
|Back to Puig. He wasn’t an All-Star last year. Maybe he should have been, but he wasn’t. Maybe he will be this year, but we really don’t know yet.
I don’t like that Topps took it upon themselves to either correct last year’s manager or predict the future, whichever is the case here.
This isn’t the first time a non-All-Star has been called an All-Star by Topps. One of the most egregious examples is Tony Bernazard from the 1987 Topps set; Bernazard was not an All-Star in 1986, or 1987…or ever.
First things first, I don’t like Tim McCarver. But this isn’t a post about Tim McCarver. This is a post about 2014 Topps Heritage. And I don’t like that they cut up a 1981 Fleer card and put it in a 2014 Topps set.
Topps used a Fleer product in their set.
Let that sink in.
First things first, I absolutely love Bo Jackson. He was one of the most exciting baseball players and one of the most exciting football players. He was an all-around athlete and was fascinating to watch. Jackson was born in 1962. His baseball career started in 1986 and ended in 1994. I don’t like that he is included in the 2014 Topps Heritage set, which is supposed to be an homage to the 1965 issue.
I like the concept of Topps Heritage. I don’t like the execution.
The shortstop position seems to evolve every few years. At times, the shortstop is expected to be a defensive genius such as Ozzie Smith; at others an offensive powerhouse like Ernie Banks; sometimes he is expected to be a jack-of-all-trades such as Cal Ripken, who, according to my calculations, is the greatest shortstop ever with a score of 314.62.
Ripken beats out legends Honus Wagner (272.75), Banks (261.93), Robin Yount (242.25), and modern-day sensation Derek Jeter (231.11) who still has time to improve his #5 position on the list. The Wizard of Oz (226.72), Barry Larkin (220.78), George Davis (219.01), and Joe Cronin (213.3) come in at #6-9. The only eligible non-Hall of Famer in the top 10 is Alan Trammell (210.61), affirming my long-standing belief that he should have a plaque among the greats.
Other Hall of Fame shortstops that fall outside the top ten include Luke Appling (#11, 210.46), Luis Aparicio (#12, 208.77), and Pee Wee Reese (#14, 205.02). Bill Dahlen, a late-nineteenth/early-twentieth century star, comes in at #13 with a score of 207.99. When we remove awards and All-Star seasons, Dahlen jumps all the way up to #6 on the list, ahead of Jeter, Smith, Larkin and more.
Since Dahlen played so long ago, he is all but forgotten when discussing overlooked greats. In 2012, the Veterans Committee voted to induct Deacon White into the Hall of Fame this year. Dahlen received 10 of 16 votes, 2 votes short of election. This is an improvement over past elections; perhaps his time will come soon.
One of the few current Yankees that I actually root for is Derek Jeter. I will be smiling when he takes his rightful place among the game’s greats in Cooperstown.
Large photo credit: Shawn Levin
Inset photo credit: Keith Allison
Baseball’s Greatest Games:
Derek Jeter’s 3,000th Hit
New Video, 2011
Approx. 3 hrs. + extras
With all of the scandals and controversies that have surrounded Major League Baseball over the past several years, baseball needs a guy like Derek Jeter to prove that there are still some good guys left in the game. A future no-doubt, first-ballot Hall of Famer, the Yankee shortstop is remarkably humble for a man in his position.
Stan Musial, Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken, George Brett, Robin Yount, Tony Gwynn, Cap Anson, Craig Biggio, Al Kaline, and Roberto Clemente played their entire careers with only one franchise and reached the 3,000-hit plateau. Others amassed 3,000 hits with one club before changing uniforms: Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Pete Rose. On July 9, 2011, Jeter joined those legends as the only players to collect his first 3,000 with only one club.
In the bottom of the third inning, with one out and no one on, Jeter stepped to the plate to face off against Rays pitcher David Price. Having already singled in the first inning, the tension at Yankee Stadium was obvious. Everyone in attendance, including the players for both teams, focused on the man at the plate. The count, 3-and-2. Several pitches fouled off, but no one took their eyes off #2. Finally Jeter connects on a slider down and in, and drives it deep to left field, becoming only the second player in history to hit a home run for his 3,000th hit.
Of course, he didn’t stop there, finishing the day 5-for-5 and driving in the game-winning run in the 8th inning as the Yankees defeated division rival Tampa Bay.
Just like the Baseball’s Greatest Games boxed set, the viewer can switch between television broadcasters (Michael Kay and John Flaherty of the YES Network) and radio announcers (John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman of WCBS radio).
The bonus features make this disc really special. The 3,000th hit was replayed on highlight reels so that everyone had a chance to see it numerous times, but Baseball’s Greatest Games takes you deeper, showing several highlights from Jeter’s career:
- Post-game press conference
- 1st hit (off Tim Belcher in Seattle)
- 1st home run (off Dennis Martinez in Cleveland)
- Most hits at Yankee Stadium (passing Lou Gehrig)
- Most hits at shortstop all time (passing Luis Aparicio)
- Passes Babe Ruth on all-time Yankees hits list
- Passes Gehrig on all-time Yankees hits list
- Speech at closing of Yankee Stadium
As George Steinbrenner said, “Game in and game out, he just produces.”
Without question, Yankees fans, Jeter fans, and lovers of the game as it should be played will want to add this DVD to their collection.