Derek Jeter is a Hall of Famer, so here are six things that made Jeter, Jeter

first_imgIt almost seems like a dirty, wrong thing to say in 2020, but here it goes: Derek Jeter was actually a great player. And now he’s a Hall of Fame one.Isn’t that just gross? “The Captain” and his five rings (of which the Yankees have 27, in case a Bombers fan hasn’t reminded you in the last 15 minutes), are going to be forever immortalized within the walls of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  The thing about Jeter, and it’s no secret, is that he’s equal parts great player and New York media and fan hype byproduct. We all know that baseball isn’t an individual game. You can’t measure individual success on team achievements, but Jeter was a big part of the Yankees dynasty of the ’90s, something that we may have to wait a long time to see again. And while Jeter was indeed a great player, the deifying of No. 2 seems to be a bit, shall we say, excessive.MORE: Nolan Arenado feels disrespected by RockiesJeter’s 72.4 bWAR, his 3,465 hits, his championship rings and his jump throws to first are all good enough reasons to put him in the Hall of Fame on his first ballot, after all.But, jeez. Aren’t you just tired of hearing about Derek Jeter? I mean, we get it! He’s really handsome! He was a superstar in New York! He never got into trouble! What a Goodie 2-Shoes. A real teacher’s pet type. Gag me.But there is, after all, only one Jeter: a lightning rod for criticism and a god among New York sports fans all the same. He was the consummate professional. He gave the media nothin’ while giving the fans everything he had. And that’s what makes Jeter, Jeter.There are many on-field moments that made Jeter what he is, and there are some off-the-field things that add fuel to his myth. The 3,000th hit, The Flip, the gift baskets, the lexicon of supermodels and actresses he’s dated, his SNL skits and his “Seinfeld” appearance are some things that didn’t make the cut.So, without further ado, here are six moments that made Derek Jeter Derek Jeter with a hearty helping of Jeter fatigue, a dash of sarcasm and a sincere congrats:6. He was actually decent in ‘The Other Guys.’Good thing Jeter is (moderately) better at playing shortstop than he is acting.In the 2010 comedy “The Other Guys,” the Yankees shortstop has a pretty small part, but it’s a memorable one: hot-headed New York cop Terry Hoitz, played by noted Boston guy Mark Wahlberg, plants a bullet into Jeter’s leg. “You dick! I’m Derek Jeter, you shot me!” Jeter yells in agony.But that’s not the last we see of the him. In a deleted scene, Jeter warns of a bigger plot afoot, and that Hoitz was actually framed for the shooting.There’s something ironic about Jeter warning about the evils of multi-millionaires, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.Ah, well.5. This commercial with George Steinbrenner.But long before Jeter stole the show in “The Other Guys,” a short commercial clearly showcased his acting abilities.This might come as a surprise, but not everyone loves Derek Jeter. In fact, one guy who kinda owned the Yankees for a long time questioned Jeter’s commitment to the game in the early 2000s.”(George Steinbrenner’s) the boss and he’s entitled to his opinion, right or wrong, but what he said has been turned into me being this big party animal,” Jeter told AP writer Steve Wilstein in 2001, via ESPN. “He even made a reference to one birthday party. That’s been turned into that I’m like Dennis Rodman now.”I don’t think that’s fair. I have no problems with people criticizing how I play. But it bothers me when people question my work ethic. That’s when you’re talking about my integrity. I take a lot of pride in how hard I work. I work extremely hard in the offseason. I work extremely hard during the season to win. My priorities are straight.”Side note: Being compared to Dennis Rodman, a man who vows to bridge the gap between the U.S. and North Korea, isn’t a bad thing, DEREK!Jeter, obviously, resented the thought. No one could work harder than The Captain. (No one out-dated the Captain, either, apparently.)Well, the drama slipped away like a ball under the glove of a diving Jeter, and the Captain and The Boss got together for a pretty memorable Visa commercial that played on Jeter and Steinbrenner’s short-lived, early 2000s feud. The commercial included some of Jeter’s “hard-partying” ways (and no lines).Jeter, being the marketable superstar he is, was also endorsed by Gatorade, Nike’s Jordan brand and Ford in his career, because, surely, the 10-year, $189 million contract he signed in 2001 just wasn’t enough money for him.An aside: If Visa truly is “everywhere you want to be,” then Jeter should have put a credit card to his left on the infield dirt.4. The infamous ‘Shortstops’ picture.Oh, boy. Hide your significant others. Cover the kids’ eyes. This photo is a de-pantsing away from being a Playgirl centerfold. This famous shirtless shortstops photo, including A-Rod & Jeter, was taken this week, 20 years ago (📷 by Walter Iooss/SI) pic.twitter.com/IL2gABi4Sw— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 13, 2017I would love to know how the pitch for this came about: SI: Hey, Derek. We’d love to have you in for a photo shoot. DJ: OK, do you have more details?SI: You’ll be there with A-Rod.DJ: Gee, I don’t know—SI: Also, you’ll be wearing white pants. In a white studio.DJ: Guys, let me think about—SI: And shirtless.​ With A-Rod.(We’re beginning to see where the Jeter-Rodriguez relationship went south.)Jeter (far right), shirtless, was flanked by equally as shirtless future teammate Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Renteria, Rey Ordonez and Alex Gonzalez — all hot topics in the ’90s. Alex Rodriguez would go on to become the greatest player in this picture, with Jeter somewhere in second place.Interestingly enough, one of these guys is now a somewhat beloved voice for the biggest sports network on TV and the other is a former shortstop who some feel has disgraced himself with his post-playing day activities.How times change.3. ‘Mr. November.’Of course, the first time in baseball history there were November playoffs, Jeter was at the forefront of it all. Jeter having a dumb “Mr. November” nickname is as good a reason as any to not play baseball in November.In the 2001 World Series, Jeter sent the Yankees to a Game 5 with a walk-off home run off Byung-Hyun Kim, but it was the iconic call from the current voice of the Yankees, Michael Kay, that really cemented Jeter’s legacy.The next time the World Series would creep into November would be 2009, when the Yankees were, once again, a participant, and once again came home with a championship ring. No more November baseball, please.2. His last Yankee Stadium at-bat.Of course, in typical Jeterian fashion, his last hit was a walk-off hit, giving Yankee fans one last bullet in the neverending debate of why Da Captain was so clutch.His last hit, a walk-off single, was eerily Jeter-esque; a little poke on and inside-out swing to right field, an image burned into the retinas of baseball fans everywhere. Pull a baseball, Derek.I mean, this is bad Hollywood cliché writing, so of course Jeter had to cash in. The only thing that could have made it worse is if his Core 4 teammates were there to take it in, too.Oh. Oh, wait.Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera were there, like Force Ghosts from “Star Wars,” ready to hand Jeter his AARP card and probably congratulate him or something. It was like seeing the three specters from “A Christmas Carol.”By the way, can we give some credit to former Yankee great Antoan Richardson for hustling around the bases to score for ol’ Jetes? Or does Jeter get all the credit for a weakly hit single that wouldn’t have scored anyone less fast?Anyways, Jeter got his moment, but the Yankees wouldn’t make the playoffs, finishing third in the division. The Red Sox would go on to win it all once again, their third title since 2004. So, ha! Take that, nerds!1. That stupid play.Oh, you know the one. Not the flip one. The other one.The one that was played on “SportsCenter” ad infinitum like an early 2000s Backstreet Boys hit on pop radio. The play that you were wowed by the first time you saw it, but then realized upon further viewings that it was just OK, like the last “Star Wars” movie.”That stupid play that you were force-fed from MLB Network and Twitter, the one you endured over and over again leading up to his Hall of Fame induction. The one where Jeter’s face lost a fight to an empty chair.Sure, Jeter made a great catch in one of the most memorable regular season games between the Yankees and Red Sox fans of the past 20 years. But let’s not forget that Pokey Reese made arguably a more difficult catch just a few innings earlier.So, of course, selfish Derek Jeter has to outdo Reese. So how does he do it? By jumping into the stands and belly-flopping onto a sea of New Yorkers. Talk about pandering. The crowd surfing plan didn’t go as well as he’d hoped.Debate the play all you want, but the shot of Jeter emerging from the stands is iconic. It was like that scene in “Spider-Man 2” when all the New Yorkers crowd-surf Peter Parker’s body. Just not as cool. Not nearly as cool, in fact. Like Poseidon, Jeter exiting the swath of blue-clad fans like a conquering hero, face cut up and bloodied, is the enduring image of No. 2, thankfully supplanting the shirtless one from above.We’re still going to need a Sports Science segment on whether Jeter could have stopped. The guy isn’t a freight train barreling down on a Volkswagen Beetle at a track crossing. Slide. Veer away. Hit the brakes, man.Congrats, Jeter.last_img

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