Sunday, January 9, 2011

Derek Jeter

Derek Sanderson Jeter was born in 26 June 1974. He is an American professional baseball player who is currently with the New York Yankees. He is a Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop who has played his entire career for the New York Yankees. He has served as the Yankees' team captain since 2003. Jeter's presence in the Yankees' lineup, highlighted by his hitting prowess, played an instrumental role in the team's late 1990s dynasty. Jeter debuted in the Major Leagues in 1995, and the following year he won the Rookie of the Year Award and helped the Yankees win the 1996 World Series. Jeter was also a member of championship-winning teams in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009. In 2000, Jeter became the only player in history to win both the All-Star Game MVP Award and the World Series MVP Award in the same year. He has been selected as an All-Star eleven times, won the Silver Slugger award four times, and he has won the Gold Glove award on five occasions. He is regarded as a consummate professional, by teammates and opponents alike, and has a reputation as a reliable contributor in the postseason. Jeter is considered to be one of the best players of his generation. He is the all-time hits leader among shortstops and his .317 career batting average through the 2009 season ranks as the fifth-highest among active players. He has been among the American League (AL) leaders in hits and runs scored for the past ten years. He is the all-time Yankees hit leader, passing Hall of Fame member Lou Gehrig in 2009.

Jeter was born in Pequannock, New Jersey in 1974. His father, Dr. Sanderson Charles Jeter, a substance abuse counselor, is African American; his mother, Dorothy, is Caucasian and of Irish/German descent. Charles and Dorothy met while serving in the United States Army in Germany. His father played shortstop at Fisk University in Tennessee. Derek has one sister, Sharlee, who is five years younger and was a softball star in high school. The family lived in North Arlington, New Jersey, before moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan, when he was four years old. As a child, Jeter and his sister spent summers with their grandparents in New Jersey, who took them to Yankees games, making him a passionate fan of his future team. Jeter was inspired to play baseball by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. In high school, Jeter was a star baseball player at Kalamazoo Central High School, where he also played basketball, earning an All-State honorable mention. Years later in 2003, Jeter was inducted into the Kalamazoo Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Jeter had batting averages of .557 as a sophomore and .508 as a junior. As a senior, he batted had 23 runs batted in, 21 walks, four home runs, and 12 stolen bases (in 12 attempts); and struck out only once. Jeter collected many awards at season's end, including the Kalamazoo Area B'nai B'rith Award for Scholar Athlete, the 1992 High School Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, the 1992 Gatorade High School Player of the Year award, and USA Today's High School Player of the Year.

Jeter spent four years in the minor leagues, beginning in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League before advancing to the Class-A Greensboro Hornets in 1992. Jeter struggled in 1992, batting .202. In 1993, playing in Greensboro, Jeter collected various awards, including Most Outstanding Major League Prospect of the South Atlantic League. He was disappointed in himself for committing 56 errors in 1993, requiring an extra focus on his fielding. Despite this, Jeter was also voted the South Atlantic League's Best Defensive Shortstop, Most Exciting Player, and Best Infield Arm by Baseball America. In 1994, Jeter played for the Class-A Advanced Tampa Yankees, the Double-A Albany-Colonie Yankees, and the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, hitting .344 with five home runs, 68 runs batted in, and 50 stolen bases combined. He was honored with the Minor League Player of the Year Award by Baseball America, The Sporting News, USA Today, and Topps/NAPBL. He was also named the MVP of the Florida State League. Jeter was discovered professionally by Hal Newhouser, who was working for the Houston Astros as a scout. Newhouser advocated his selection with the first pick of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft to Astros' management, convinced that Jeter would anchor a winning team. Jeter received a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Michigan, and the speculation was that he would insist on a salary bonus of $1 million or more to sign.

The Yankees had projected Jeter as their starting shortstop for the 1995 season, but when he suffered a minor injury in the Arizona Fall League, the Yankees signed Tony Fernández to a two-year contract to play shortstop and kept Jeter in Triple-A. The Yankees reportedly offered Jeter the opportunity to work out with the replacement players in Spring Training prior to the 1995 season, but he declined to cross the picket line. On May 29, 1995, Jeter made his debut in the major leagues due to injuries to Fernández and Pat Kelly. Jeter batted .234 and committed two errors in 13 games before being demoted to Columbus. Despite the presence of Fernández on the roster, new Yankees manager Joe Torre announced that Jeter would be the starting shortstop in 1996. He started on Opening Day of the 1996 season as the starting shortstop (the first Yankee rookie since Tom Tresh in 1962 to do so) and hit his first major-league home run on that day. Jeter's home run was called by one of his Yankee predecessors at shortstop, broadcaster Phil Rizzuto. Jeter played his way to a successful rookie season, hitting for a .314 batting average, with 10 home runs, 104 runs scored, and 78 runs batted in. He subsequently earned Rookie of the Year honors. Jeter batted .361 in the playoffs, as the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves to win their first World Series championship since 1978. During the 1996 American League Championship Series, Jeter was involved in what has become a memorable moment in postseason history. During game one, with the Yankees trailing the Baltimore Orioles 4–3 in the 8th inning, Jeter hit a fly ball to right field. As right fielder Tony Tarasco moved to make a play on the ball near the fence, appearing to have a chance to catch the ball, 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier reached over the wall and caught the ball, pulling it back into the stands. Despite Tarasco's protest, the umpires convened and ruled the ball a home run. Replays conclusively showed that, had Maier not interfered, the ball would have fallen in front of the fence and potentially into Tarasco's glove for an out. The Yankees went on to win in 11 innings and eventually won the series, 4 games to 1. The ruling made for the first home run of Jeter's postseason career. In 1997, Jeter batted .291, with 10 home runs, 70 runs batted in, 116 runs and 190 hits. However, the Yankees lost to the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series. In 1998, Jeter batted .324, with a league-leading 127 runs, 19 home runs, and 84 runs batted in, for a team that won 114 games during the regular season and is widely considered to be one of the greatest of all time. In the playoffs, Jeter hit only .176 in the Division and League Championship Series, but he excelled in the World Series, batting .353, as the Yankees went on to beat the San Diego Padres in four games.

In 1999, Jeter led the American League in hits (219) and was second in the league in batting average (.349) and runs scored (134). Jeter (who, for part of the year, batted third in the lineup) also drove in 102 runs, becoming only the second Yankee shortstop ever to do so (Lyn Lary had driven in 107 runs in 1931).[23] His season totals in batting average, runs, hits, runs batted in, doubles, triples, home runs, slugging percentage (.552), and on-base percentage (.438) are all personal bests. Jeter batted .455 in the 1999 American League Division Series, .350 in the 1999 American League Championship Series, and .353 in the 1999 World Series, as the Yankees defeated the Braves to win another championship. During the 1999 season, Jeter had a confrontation with a teammate. Teammate Chad Curtis, an outspoken Christian, approached him about discussing his faith, but Jeter declined. When Curtis approached Jeter again, he became offended.[16] Later in the season, a mid-game bench-clearing brawl with the Seattle Mariners occurred. After the brawl ended, Jeter was seen engaged in friendly chatter with his good friend (and future Yankee teammate) Alex Rodriguez, who then played for the Mariners. Upon returning to the dugout, Curtis chastized Jeter for being friendly with an opponent during a bench-clearing brawl, which violated an unwritten rule of baseball. After the game, Curtis approached Jeter in the clubhouse, with beat writers present. Jeter commented that this was not an appropriate time for a confrontation. Curtis later apologized. During the 1999–2000 offseason, the Yankees negotiated with Jeter, tentatively agreeing to a $118.5 million, seven-year contract.[25] Yankee owner George Steinbrenner did not want to set a salary record, delaying until the acceptance of a $143 million, eight-year contract extension between the Detroit Tigers and Juan González. When that proposed deal fell through, Jeter's tentative deal fell through, and he agreed to a one-year deal for $10 million. Jeter batted .339, with 15 home runs, 73 runs batted in, 119 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases in 2000. He batted only .211 in the Division Series but rebounded to bat .318 against the Seattle Mariners in the Championship Series and .409, with two home runs, a triple, and two doubles in a five-game series against the New York Mets in the World Series, the first Subway Series since 1956. In 2000, Jeter became the first player ever to win the All-Star Game MVP award and the World Series MVP Award in the same year. Jeter became the first Yankee since Yogi Berra, in 1959, to hit a home run in the All Star Game. Before the 2001 season, with one year remaining until he would become eligible for free agency, Jeter signed a $189 million, ten-year contract to remain with the Yankees, making him the second highest paid athlete, trailing only Rodriguez. Rodriguez signed his deal earlier than Jeter, setting a higher market for Jeter's negotiations. During the season, Jeter batted .311, with 21 home runs, 74 runs batted in, 110 runs scored, and 27 stolen bases. In the postseason, Jeter made a notable play in game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics. With Jeremy Giambi on first base, Oakland right fielder Terrence Long hit a double off Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina into the right-field corner. As Giambi rounded third base and headed for home, Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer retrieved the ball and made a wild throw intended for Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. Instead, the errant throw missed cutoff man Tino Martinez and dribbled up the first-base line. Jeter came from shortstop to grab the ball and flipped it to Posada, who tagged Giambi on the leg just before he crossed home plate for the out. Facing elimination, the Yankees went on to win the game, as well as the series. The play was later voted #7 in Baseball Weekly's 10 Most Amazing Plays of all time. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the baseball season was put on hold. As a result, the start of the playoffs was delayed, and game 4 of the 2001 World Series was played on October 31. The game went into the tenth inning tied at 3–3. At midnight, the scoreboard in center field read "Attention Fans, Welcome to NOVEMBER BASEBALL." This was the first time that any non-exhibition MLB game had been played in the month of November. Moments after this message was displayed on the board, Jeter sent a 3–2 pitch from Byung-Hyun Kim over the right-field stands. A fan in the stands held up a sign with the words "Mr. November," a reference to Reggie Jackson's nickname, "Mr. October". Michael Kay, who called the walk-off home run, called Jeter by this name, referencing the sign. Despite the nickname, Jeter was 3 for 12 (.250) in November baseball that season, as the Yankees lost the World Series in seven games to the Arizona Diamondbacks (the home team won all seven games of the World Series). In 2002, Jeter batted .297, with 18 home runs, 75 runs batted in, 124 runs scored, 191 hits, and a career-best 32 stolen bases. He led the majors in stolen base percentage (91.4%), getting caught only three times.

In 2003, Jeter dislocated his left shoulder on opening day when he collided with Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby at third base. Jeter, who had never played fewer than 148 games in the prior seven full seasons, was subsequently on the disabled list for six weeks, missing 36 games. Jeter returned to bat .324, losing the batting title to Bill Mueller, who batted .326. Steinbrenner named Jeter the 11th recognized captain in Yankees history on June 3, 2003, following eight seasons without a captain after the retirement of Don Mattingly in 1995. Dispute over the true count has been noted. The beginning of the 2004 season saw Jeter mired in a slump; on May 25, he was hitting only .189. This included a personal career record 0-for-32 skid in April. In June Jeter broke out of his slump. He hit nearly .400 for the month and set a personal best with 9 home runs. He finished the season with a .292 average; 23 home runs, the 2nd most of his career; 78 runs batted in; 111 runs scored; and 44 doubles, a career best. During a July 1, 2004, game against the rival Boston Red Sox, Jeter made a play that furthered his reputation as a clutch player. In the top of the 12th inning, with the score tied at 3, the Red Sox had runners on second and third with 2 outs and right fielder Trot Nixon up at bat. Nixon hit a pop fly down the left field line. Jeter ran from his position at shortshop and made an over-the-shoulder catch. In dramatic fashion, he launched himself over the third-base side railing, landing three rows into the left-field seats, and lacerating his chin and bruising his face in the process. Jeter was later taken out of the game. This catch ended the inning, and later the Yankees went on to win the game in the bottom of the 13th inning. The "Dive" was awarded Play Of The Year in the This Year In Baseball awards competition, as voted on by fans at In 2005, Jeter was second in the AL in both runs scored (122) and batting average on balls in play (.394), and was third in the league in both at bats (654) and hits (202). Jeter won his second-consecutive Gold Glove in 2005, as his low range factor rose to 4.76 and ranked 2nd among AL shortstops. In 2006, Jeter was second in the AL in both batting average (.343) and runs scored (118); was third in hits (214), stolen base success percentage (87.2), and batting average with runners in scoring position (.381); and was fifth in infield hits . He finished second in American League Most Valuable Player Award voting to Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins (320 points to 306 points). Jeter has finished in the top 10 in the MVP balloting 6 times in his 11 full seasons through 2006 (including also a third-place finish in 1998). In 2007, Jeter was third in the AL in hits (203), his sixth season and third-consecutive season with 200 hits, tying Lou Gehrig. He was also fourth in both at-bats (639) and plate appearances (714), sixth in times on base (276), and ninth in batting average (.322). In the field, he was involved in a career-high 104 double plays.

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