Captain's Log: Derek Jeter's career in the All-Star Game
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...
Stop the boiler plate presses there, as at least half of our final hope for The Captain has come true: he will take part in the 2014 All-Star festivities, voted in to start at shortstop for the American League for the ninth time in his career. So, as we continue our look back at Jeter's career, we have decided to include the entirety of his All-Star resume as an extra stop on the printed farewell tour; sure, Jeter played his last regular-season game in Minnesota over Independence Day Weekend, but seeing as the All-Star Game itself determines World Series home field advantage, why shouldn't we count Derek's numbers in it?
There is no "barring a playoff matchup" disclaimer here, because Jeter's 13th All-Star nod (and 12th appearance and ninth start) will be his last. He will indeed say goodbye forever when the game ends, but hopefully not before adding one last great moment to the numbers below.
Derek Jeter's career line in the All-Star Game (12 games/27 plate appearances):
.440 average (11-for-25), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 SB, 5 R, 1.081 OPS
Bonus line: Jeter in the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium: 1-for-3 (infield single), SB
And now, a quartet of memorable Jeter Moments from All-Star Games past:
No. 1: MVP! MVP!
After striking out in his only at-bat as a reserve in his first two All-Star appearances, Jeter made his first career All-Star start a memorable one. The future Captain got the AL nod at Atlanta's Turner Field in 2000 and went 3-for-3 on the night, with two singles, a double, two RBI, and a run scored…in just five innings. He was out of the game long before the AL busted it open en route to a 6-3 win, but he still ended up becoming the first man ever to win All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP in the same season.
No. 2: Quick and easy
Alex Rodriguez was voted in as the American League's starting shortstop for the 2001 All-Star Game, shunting Jeter to a reserve role - but Jeter made the most of it, coming in to pinch-hit for A-Rod to lead off the sixth and blasting a Jon Lieber offering into the seats to give the AL a 3-1 lead. He would play just one inning on defense before being lifted for pinch-hitter Cristian Guzman in the seventh, but hey, no one can say that Jeter wasn't worth his selection that year.
No. 3: Robbed by a former teammate
The 2004 All-Star Game in Houston marked Jeter's sixth appearance and second start in the Mid-Summer Classic, and also saw Jeter start in the infield with two Yankees teammates (Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez) and Alfonso Soriano, who had been The Captain's keystone combo mate for the previous few years before being traded for A-Rod in the winter of 2003-04. Jeter had a great game, going 3-for-3 with three singles and a run scored, but he was unfortunately overshadowed for the MVP award by Soriano, who was 2-for-3 overall and hit a three-run homer in the first inning that set the tone for the AL's 9-4 win.
No. 4: Et tu, Captain?
Anyone who has ever even remotely heard about Derek Jeter's work ethic knows it takes a lot to keep The Captain out of any lineup at any time - but if there's even one ounce of wiggle room for conspiracy theorists out there, they can look no further than the 2011 All-Star Game, which might be the only game ever Derek Jeter begged out of. Okay, so it's not really "begged out of" as much as it was "stepped aside due to fatigue," and we can even forgive him for that; after all, he had spent the majority of the previous month on the disabled list and had just racked up his 3,000th hit the weekend prior, so despite getting voted in as the AL starter, he surely deserved to take a second to relax. His presence was missed, though, especially seeing that the American League's two shortstops, Jhonny Peralta and Asdrubal Cabrera, went a combined 0-for-4 and the AL lost 5-1.