Derek Jeter: 10 Things To Know as he enters his final season
At this point you likely know just about everything about the Yankees’ Captain and what he's done on the field, but now that the world is aware that he will ride off into the proverbial baseball sunset when the book closes on 2014, here are 10 Things You Should Know about what will be Derek Jeter’s final season.
No. 10: Derek Jeter is 114 hits shy of having the most hits by a shortstop in MLB history
Honus Wagner, who manned the left side for the Pirates at the turn of the 20th century, has 3,430 career hits, 114 more than Jeter. Should The Captain tally 115 knocks this season, he will take over that all-time mark and also take sole possession of sixth place on the overall all-time hits list.
No. 9: Jeter will finish no higher than fifth on the all-time hits list
Barely 18 months ago, Jeter was fresh off a phenomenal 2012 season, and people were speculating whether The Captain, who had just over 3,300 hits at the time, would be around long enough to make a run at Pete Rose’s record of 4,256. However, Jeter recorded just 12 hits in 2014, leaving him ninth all-time with 3,316 entering his final season. Paul Molitor (3,319), Carl Yastrzemski (3,419), Wagner and maybe even Tris Speaker (3,514) are within reach, but it would take the best season in baseball history to catch Stan Musial at 3,630.
No. 8: Jeter could still have one last “first” in him
Designated hitter aside, Jeter has one sparkling fact on his resume: he has never played a single Major League inning at any position other than shortstop. In fact, in his four seasons in the Minors, he never played anywhere else either, making it 22 consecutive years he’s either had a “6” or a “0” next to his name on the lineup card. With an uncertain situation at both second and third base, could this be the first year we see Derek Jeter anywhere else on the diamond, even if only for a half-inning?
No. 7: Jeter’s October numbers are better than most players’ career years
In postseason play, Derek Jeter is a .308 hitter (200-for-650) with a .374 on-base percentage and .464 slugging percentage, 20 home runs, 61 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 57 extra-base hits. And yet, he’s only “Mr. November.”
No. 6: Some college students are younger than Jeter’s Major League career
Derek Jeter made his Major League debut on May 23, 1995, and even those born the following day are still a few months away from 19 and likely just graduated high school last summer. Puts a lifetime of fandom in perspective, no?
No. 5: Jeter’s final regular season home game will come against his first MLB manager
Mark your calendars now for Thursday, Sept. 25, as that is the night Jeter will take the Yankee Stadium field for the final time in a regular season game. The opponent? The Baltimore Orioles, who are managed by none other than Buck Showalter – the Yankees’ skipper when a baby-faced Derek Jeter made his Major League debut in 1995.
No. 4: Jeter’s regular-season career will end in the most hostile of enemy territory
Much like Mariano Rivera’s, Jeter’s final regular-season game won’t be at Yankee Stadium. However, instead of being in Houston, The Captain will end his regular season at Fenway Park, home of the Yankees’ archrival Boston Red Sox. That said, however, given how both the Red Sox organization and their fans treated “The Sandman” last September in his Fenway farewell, you can almost guarantee Sept. 28 will mark the first, last, and only time Derek Jeter gets cheered on Yawkey Way.
No. 3: Jeter has “only” five Gold Gloves, but it could’ve been much, much worse…
Did you know that Derek Jeter still holds an ignominious South Atlantic League record? As a 19-year-old in 1993, Jeter had 56 errors with the Class-A Greensboro Hornets…or as you know it, 34 more than he’s ever committed in a single MLB season (22 as a rookie in 1996 remains the most) and about 43 more than his average per season as a Major Leaguer (which is a shade under 13).
No. 2: …and we mean much, much, much worse
After Derek Jeter had a tough spring in 1996, the Yankees considered trading Mariano Rivera to Seattle for shortstop Felix Fermin. Two decades later, Jeter is a career .312 hitter and first ballot Hall of Famer, while Fermin was released by the Mariners in April 1996 and finished out his MLB career by hitting .125 in 19 games with the Cubs later that summer. Oh, and let’s not even think about Yankees life without that Rivera fella.
No. 1: Jeter will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in November of 2019
Speaking of first ballots and Halls of Fame, keep July 2020 open folks, because we can probably safely assume that Derek Jeter will be in Cooperstown, N.Y. at some point that month.