8 Plays That Defined Derek Jeter's Hall of Fame Career

Yanks Great Expected To Be Elected To Hall Of Fame Tuesday

Ryan Chatelain
January 21, 2020 - 7:45 am

Derek Jeter is a lock to join the Hall of Fame this summer, with the announcement coming Tuesday. The only question: Will it be unanimous? 

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The Yankees shortstop was a 14-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion. He ranks sixth all-time in hits, was voted World Series MVP in 2000 and won Rookie of the Year in 1996.

Then there are the moments — the many glorious moments — that Jeter gifted Yankees fans with during his 20 years in pinstripes.

Here’s a look at the eight most memorable Jeter plays.

The Jeffrey Maier Game

On Oct. 9, 1996, Jeter and a 12-year-boy named Jeffrey Maier became forever linked. With the Yanks trailing the Orioles 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning of ALCS Game 1, Jeter hit a deep fly ball to right field. Maier clearly reached over the fence and snagged the ball that likely would have landed in the waiting glove of Baltimore’s Tony Tarasco. The umpire, however, ruled it a home run, not fan interference. The Yankees went on to win 5-4 on Bernie Williams’ 11th-inning, walk-off homer. 

And of course, the Bombers won the World Series that year, launching a dynasty that saw them capture four world championships in five years.

Subway Series Leadoff Homer

Before most fans had even gotten comfortable in their seats in Game 4 of the 2000 World Series against the Mets, Jeter had already put the Yankees in the lead.

On the first pitch of the game, Jeter sent a Bobby Jones fastball over the Shea Stadium wall. The homer stole the momentum of the series back from the Mets, who had won their first game of the Fall Classic the night before. The Yankees went on to win the game 3-2 and closed out the series the following night.

The Flip

With the Yankees clinging to a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning of Game 3 of their ALDS against the A’s, Oakland’s Terrence Long doubled to right field, sending Jeremy Giambi sprinting from first to home. Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer rushed his throw, missing two cut-off men. But Jeter saved the day, running from his shortstop position to field the ball with his bare hand on a hop along the first-base line before quickly flipping it to catcher Jorge Posada, who tagged Giambi on the leg a split-second before he touched the plate.

The Yankees held on for the 1-0 victory.

Some have credited that play for changing the momentum of the best-of-five series, in which the A’s had won the first two games. The Yankees followed up Game 3 with two more victories. The Bombers went on to reach the World Series for the fifth time in six years, but lost in seven games to the Diamondbacks.

Mr. November

Due to a delay related to the 9/11 attacks, that 2001 World Series was the first to be played into November. In Game 4, just after the clock struck midnight and November began, Jeter hit a solo, 10th-inning home run to right field off Arizona’s Byung-Hyun Kim to win the game and tie the series at two games apiece.

As Jeter rounded the bases, one clever Yankees fan was shown on television holding a sign that read “Mr. November,” a play off Reggie Jackson’s “Mr. October” moniker. 

The Dive

There’s no better example of a play that exhibited the heart Jeter had than this one.

On July 1, 2004, against the rival Red Sox, Jeter sprinted from his shortstop position to catch a shallow fly in left field near the third-base line. His momentum carried him into the Yankee Stadium stands, where he crashed head-first. Jeter had blood dripping down his face when he was helped up by fans.

Passing Gehrig

On Sept. 11, 2009, Jeter broke one of the most important records for baseball’s most storied franchise, surpassing Lou Gehrig for the most hits in franchise history. 

Jeter hit an opposite-field single off Baltimore’s Chris Tillman, giving him 2,722 career hits. Gehrig had held the record for 72 years.

Players poured out of the dugout to congratulate Jeter at first base, and the Captain waved his helmet as cheers rained down on him at Yankee Stadium. 

3,000 Club

Jeter certainly had a flair for the dramatic, and July 9, 2011, was a great example. He entered the game against the Tampa Bay Rays with 2,998 hits, two short of joining an exclusive fraternity of baseball greats.

After leading off with a single, Jeter clubbed a solo homer to left field for hit No. 3,000. 

But Jeter wasn’t done, going 5-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored on the day.

Bronx Finale

On Sept. 25, 2014, fans filled Yankee Stadium wanting to say farewell to one of the franchise’s greatest players in his final home game. Jeter gave them a night to remember.

In his final at-bat at Yankee Stadium, Jeter slapped a walk-off single to right field that scored Antoan Richardson from second base, as the Yanks beat the Orioles 6-5. Jeter's teammates mobbed him on the field, and then he took one last emotional walk around the diamond while waving his hat to fans.

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