Derek Jeter's greatest All-Star Game performances
2001 All-Star Game: Farewell to Ripken
The 2001 All-Star Game, played at Safeco Field in Seattle, is best known as the 19th and final All-Star appearance for Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. The legendary iron man was given a fitting sendoff, with starting shortstop Alex Rodriguez famously moving aside to graciously allow Ripken to move from third base to shortstop, where he had played the bulk of his career.
But the symbolism of the day was not just felt with A-Rod's gesture. Though it was Ripken's home run that will be long remembered, earning him the honor as the game's Most Valuable Player, Derek Jeter sent a home run of his own into the stands in the sixth inning off of Jon Lieber to help cement the American League's 4-1 victory. Jeter's blast served as a fitting symbol to the changing of the guard at one of the game's premier positions that the departure of Ripken represented.
1998 All-Star Game: Derek Jeter's first
Jeter's stat-line in the 1998 All-Star Game would ultimately be insignificant, as the Yankees shortstop managed to go just 0 for 1 with a strikeout in his lone at-bat in the AL's 13-8 victory. But the game marked Jeter's first of what will be 14 All-Star apperances when he again starts for the American League on Tuesday night at Target Field.
Jeter went on to finish that season with a .324 average to go with 19 home runs, 84 RBI and 30 stolen bases for a Yankees team that won its second World Series title in three years. While Jeter had already shown himself to be a future star through his first two seasons in the big leagues, 1998 was the year in which the Yankees future captain proved he was destined to become one of the greatest players the sport has ever seen.
2004 All-Star Game: A great one for the Greatest
The 2004 All-Star Game was played in Houston's Minute Maid Park. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali threw out the first pitch. Along with Houston's Lance Berkman, Jeter took part in the pre-game ceremony to honor the great champion.
On the field, Derek Jeter was equally impressive, as he went 3 for 3 at the plate in a 9-4 American League victory. The superlative performance may have ultimately been bittersweet, as the AL's victory ultimately provided home-field advantage to the rival Red Sox when they later went on to win their first World Series since 1918.
2000 All-Star Game: MVP
But easily Jeter's finest All-Star performance was in 2000. At the height of the Yankees dynasty, Jeter made his first All-Star start at shortstop, finishing the game a perfect 3 for 3, including a pair of RBI that served as the winning runs in a 6-3 American League win.
Jeter would add to his legend later that season, hitting .409 to help the Yankees topple the Mets in the Subway Series, adding a World Series MVP trophy to his mantel and becoming the only player in major-league history to win an All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP in the same season.