Captain's Log: Derek Jeter's career against the Cleveland Indians
The 2014 season will be Derek Jeter's last, the culmination of 20 years of dominance in Major League Baseball. With his pending retirement announced, Jeter will make his final visits to 18 ballparks this year, play in his final game at Yankee Stadium, and, if all goes well, his final All-Star Game and postseason as well.
Throughout the season, as Jeter makes his final stop in each opposing city, the YESNetwork.com staff will take a look back at just how well the surefire Hall of Famer has done at every locale - and with the Yankees headed to Cleveland this week, we take a look at how Jeter has matched up with the Indians over the last two decades.
When one thinks of Cleveland, one could theoretically think of heartbreak for Derek Jeter; after all, the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was also the site Jeter's first taste of playoff series defeat, the locale of one of the few All-Star Games Jeter hasn't been a part of during his career, and x.
In reality, Jeter has actually done very well in Cleveland, but barring a playoff matchup, Jeter will say "thank you and good night!" to Indians fans for the final time this week; the Yankees play their lone four-game set in "The Forest City" Monday through Thursday, and in honor of The Captain's farewell, we look back at how hard he has rocked Cleveland throughout his career.
Derek Jeter's career line vs. Indians (132 games/589 plate appearances):
.338 average (178-for-526), 10 HR, 69 RBI, 48 BB, 101 K, 19 SB, 97 R, .859 OPS
Jeter's career line in Cleveland (66 games/309 plate appearances):
.359 average (97-for-270), 5 HR, 34 RBI, 30 BB, 54 K, 11 SB, 49 R, .911 OPS
Jeter's career line in Cleveland, broken down by stadium name:
-Jacobs Field (1996-2007; 48 games/225 plate appearances): .383 average (74-for-193), 5 HR, 26 RBI, 25 BB, 41 K, 11 SB, 41 R
-Progressive Field (2008-present; 18 games/84 plate appearances): .299 average (23-for-77), 0 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 13 K, 0 SB, 8 R
And now, three memorable Jeter Moments from Cleveland:
No. 1: Feels like the first time
Whether you're a home run hitter or not, you never forget your first, and for Jeter, that came in Cleveland off a pretty big brand name in Dennis Martinez. It was Opening Day of 1996, April 2 to be exact, and when he came up to lead off the top of the fifth, Jeter crowned "El Presidente's" 2-0 offering into the left field seats, extending the Yankees' lead to 2-0 in a game they would eventually win 7-1. The fan who caught it didn't return the ball to Jeter a la Christian Lopez, but if they kept it, that's a pretty impressive memento to have on the mantle.
No. 2: The best "oh-fer" ever?
The Yankees may not have won the 1997 ALDS, but Derek Jeter certainly did his part to help them try, hitting .333 with two home runs. In the three games in Cleveland, Jeter was 3-for-12 with two walks and three runs scored, and despite the number line, Game 3 might've been his most productive of those three games; he was credited with an 0-for-3 with two walks, but his first at-bat (a reached on error) led to the Yankees' first run, he scored the second after walking in the third, and he then walked in the fourth to chase Charles Nagy and load the bases for Paul O'Neill's grand slam that broke the game open.
No. 3: A weekend unlike any other
You have to be consistent to have a .359 career average anywhere, and among Jeter's trips to Cleveland include a 6-for-9 series in 2003 and an 8-for-17, four RBI performance in 2006. However, perhaps his greatest trek to Cleveland came over four days in September 1999; the Yanks took three of four from the runaway AL Central champion Indians that weekend, and Jeter was 8-for-15 with six walks, two homers, four RBI, nine runs scored and a 1.682 OPS in a series where he reached base at least three times in every game.