Derek Jeter: The End of a Yankee Era


Jack Dalmolin

From the stands we stare as Jeter does his magic with the baseball.

The stadium went silent, waiting for the Ray’s ace, David Price, to deliver the pitch. The Yankee’s Captain stepped in the batter box. Derek Jeter looked as relaxed as a ten-year-old playing stickball with neighborhood friends, just moments before adding another historic achievement to his Hall of Fame career. Price delivered the full count pitch: a low curveball. Jeter turned on the pitch, sending the baseball into the left field bleachers. An explosion rippled through the home crowd as Yankee fans applauded the amazing milestone: Derek Jeter had just hit his 3,000th hit.


Since that legendary game in 2011, Derek Jeter has moved up to 8th place on the all-time hit list. The Yankee shortstop is one of the most respected players in the game, and arguably one of the best players of all time. It is hard to argue that Derek Jeter isn’t the best player in his generation; with five world series rings, a World Series and All Star game MVP award, thirteen All-Star elections, and dozens of other accomplishments, there is almost nothing that Jeter hasn’t achieved in his prodigious career.


Unfortunately, especially for Yankee fans like myself, Jeter’s career will come to an end after this 2014 season. A few months ago, Derek announced that this year would be his final season in Major League Baseball. He posted a long letter on Facebook announcing his retirement in February. All eyes turn to the Yankee captain this year as he attempts to lead his team to yet another World Series championship. Jeter’s retirement marks the end of a legendary era for the New York Yankees where many incredible things were accomplished. The list below shows the top five moments in Jeter-History.


No. 5: Signature Jump-Throw

Jeter’s jump throw is not defined by one moment  – in fact, he has performed this patented play too many times to count. It is a rarity to see other players attempt the classic backhand-then-jump-and-throw that is almost second nature to Jeter. The Jump Throw, however effective it may seem, is not an easy play to execute, and most shortstops cannot pull it off it like Derek.

No. 4: The Dive

During the top of the 12th inning, on July 1, 2004, Jeter made one of the most iconic catches in history against the rival Boston Red Sox. Derek raced into shallow left field, chasing down a pop up that was destined to drop in fair territory. With two runners on base, Jeter knew the game was on the line. He tracked down the pop-up, but his momentum carried him into the stands. Jeter held the ball in his glove and dove into the crowd, braced for impact. Moments later, the shortstop rose from the stands, dazed and bloody. The Yankees ended up winning the game in the bottom half of the 13 inning.

No. 3: Mr. November

Back in 2001, following the 9/11 attacks, Major League Baseball postponed all MLB games for a few days. Due to the setback, there was a possibility that the World Series could be played in November for the first time in history. The World Series matchup in 2001 was the Yankees and the Diamondbacks. In Game 4 of the World Series on October 31st, the clock ticked past midnight in the 10th inning. Jeter stepped into the batter’s box in a tie game, and launched a walk off homer-run to right field, registering the first ever hit in November. The home stadium went wild, and the cameras zoomed in on one fan in particular as Jeter was rounding the bases. The fan held a sign high in the chilly November night, marking the Yankee hero with an everlasting title. The sign read: Mr. November.

No. 2: The Flip

The Flip is a perfect example of why Derek Jeter is so great: he is always aware of the situation on the field. As the Yankees were facing elimination in the American League Division Series in 2001, Jeter made one of the most memorable defense plays in history. The Yankees were up by one run late in the game. But, their lead was threatened in the seventh inning with a base hit to right field. Jason Giambi rounded third base and sprinted home, aiming to tie the game. As the right fielder’s throw sailed over the cut off man’s head, Jeter sprinted across the infield and completed the relay. Although the Yankee shortstop had no business being on the first base-line, he managed to flip the ball into Jorge Posada’s glove as he tagged Giambi out, keeping the Yankee’s postseason dreams alive.

No. 1: 3,000th Hit

Jeter’s 3,000 hit game was one for the history books. On top of hitting career hit no. 3,000 as a home-run at Yankee Stadium, Jeter also went 5-5 with 5 RBI’s, including the game winning RBI in the 8th inning. Reaching 3,000 hits is almost an impossible milestone to achieve. Major League Baseball has been around for over 120 years, and since then, only 28 players have reached 3,000 hits.


Derek Jeter’s hall of fame career will come to a conclusion at the end of this year. Like always though, the Captain is only focused on leading his team to win one more World Series Championship; and with everything that Jeter has accomplished, who is to say that he cannot do it again?