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Derek Jeter
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Derek Jeter

Derek Sanderson Jeter (born June 26, 1974), is one of baseball's top ten shortstops, and plays for New York Yankees.

He was born in Pequannock, New Jersey and named after Boston Bruins hockey player Derek Sanderson. His father, Charles, is black; his mother, Dorothy, is white. He grew up in Kalamazoo, and was reportedly voted "most likely to play shortstop for the New York Yankees" in junior high. Jeter was named 1992 High School Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. He had a baseball scholarship to Michigan but the New York Yankees drafted him in the first round of the amateur draft. Jeter left the Wolverines behind to follow his dream.

Growing up, he had wondered whether the Yankees would have any one-digit uniform numbers left, as so many of them had been retired. But his hope that he could get to wear a Yankee uniform with a single digit was realized, and he got the number 2. He has worn that number from the beginning, and many believe it will be retired in his honor when he finishes his career.

He earned a taste of the big leagues on May 29, 1995 replacing an injured Tony Fernandez, only a month before turning 21. He showed enough talent to replace Fernandez, and inherited his starting spot in 1996. It didn't take long for the Yankee faithful to take to DJ, as he earned rookie of the year by having a solid all around year in which he hit .314. He saved his best for the postseason, where he batted .361 in 15 playoff games en route to the Yankees' first world title in 18 years. His postseason was highlighted, in a way, by a home run in the League Championship Series, a home run that was very famously caught by 12-year Jeffrey Maier who reached over the wall (and technically onto the field of play) and stole the ball from Baltimore Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco. Replays clearly showed fan interference, but it was nonetheless ruled a home run.

His sterling rookie season gained the young shortstop instant fame, his matinee idol looks quickly gained him even more. A highly eligible bachelor in New York, his love life became a hot topic among the press, most memorably a long affair with pop star Mariah Carey and a short fling with New York Mets' catcher, Mike Piazza. Despite the media's influence, he continued to produce. In the Yankees' 1998 campaign, in which they won 114 games, he batted .324. Also in 1998, he led the American League in runs scored, with 127. Putting together his best year defensively as well, which isn't saying much, he earned his first all-star appearances and 3rd place in MVP voting.

While his 1998 was great, his 1999 was (statistically) better as he reached career highs in average, home runs, RBIs, and walks, leading the AL in hits with 219. This merely earned him 6th place honors though in MVP voting. 2000 made up for the misses in MVP award voting, as he won all-star MVP honors, and then World Series MVP honors as the Yankees took care of the Mets in the Subway Series. He continues to put up similar seasons as he did what he's always done in 2001 and 2002, hit solidly for average and for power, steal bases, and play steady defense. On June 3rd, 2003, he was named the 11th captain in Yankees history. (However, Howard W. Rosenberg, the foremost historian on baseball captains and author of the 2003 book Cap Anson 1: When Captaining a Team Meant Something: Leadership in Baseball's Early Years, has found that the count of Yankee captains is deficient Hall of Famer Clark Griffith, the 1903-05 captain, and Kid Elberfeld, the 1906-09 one, with 1913 Manager Frank Chance a strong circumstantial candidate to have been captain that year as well. Therefore, Jeter may in fact be the 13th or 14th Yankees captain.)

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