Derek Jeter celebrates his 50th birthday on June 26th.

Derek Sanderson Jeter was born on June 26th, 1974, in Pequannock Township, New Jersey. From a young age, Jeter was involved in baseball, playing little league from the age of 5, and attending New York Yankees games with his family. While in high school, he was very successful on their baseball team with batting averages in the .500s in his sophomore, junior, and senior years. Also in his senior year, he was awarded heavily, including the Gatorade High School Player of the year, USA Today’s High School Player of the Year, and the B’nai B’rith Award for Scholar Athlete.

Despite earning a scholarship to play baseball at the University of Michigan, Derek Jeter was drafted sixth in the 1992 MLB draft by the Yankees. Jeter would play in the minors until 1995, when he temporarily took over for an injured Tony Fernández, only to be sent back down. The following year, he was given the chance to be the starting shortstop for the Yankees, hitting his first MLB homerun on opening day. That year, he had a .314 batting average with 10 home runs and 78 RBIs and unanimously voted to be the AL Rookie of the Year. That year, the Yankees made it to the playoffs, with Jeter playing a critical role in the team winning the 1996 World Series.

In 1997, Jeter had an almost negligible sophomore slump with a slightly lower .291 batting average and 70 RBIs and failed to lead the Yankees past the 1997 American League Division Series in the playoffs. The following year, Jeter showed why he was the first rookie shortstop since 1962 to start for the Yankees. In a season that earned him his first All-Star Game selection, he hit .324 and lead the league with 127 total runs, hit 19 home runs, and had 84 RBIs. Jeter and the Yankees ended the year with another world series title.

The next season, Jeter was on top of the league, leading the American League with 219 hits, and finishing second in both batting average and runs with .349 and 134 respectively and landed his second All-Star spot and a third World Series title. In the 2000 season, Jeter continued to excel, hitting a team best .339 and making it to his third All-Star Game, becoming the first Yankee to win the All-Star Game MVP award. In a World Series against their cross-town rivals the New York Mets, Jeter hit for .409, with a leadoff home run on the first pitch of game 4 and another in game 5 that extended his hitting streak in the World Series to 14 games and earned him the World Series MVP award. This was the first, and so far only, time a player has won both World Series and All-Star Game MVP the same year.

The turn of the century showed more of the same dominant Jeter, as he hit .311 with 21 home runs and 110 runs scored, along with his fourth All-Star Game. This was the year that Jeter complete “The Flip”, a run-saving play that helped the Yankees win the 2001 American League Division Series that won the 2002 Best Play ESPY Award. In game 4 of the 2001 World Series, delayed to November by the September 11th attacks, he hit a game-winning home run that earned him the nickname “Mr. November”, a play on Reggie Jackson’s “Mr. October” nickname.

In the 2002 regular season, he batted .297 with 191 hits and 18 home runs and lead the MLB in stolen base percentage with 91.4%, only getting caught three times and was sent to his 5th overall and consecutive All Star Game. The next season Jeter was injured on Opening Day, leading to six weeks on the disabled list and ended his all-star streak. Despite the early-season injury, Jeter finished the season with a .324 batting average, the third best in the American League. That year, Jeter was also named the captain of the Yankees and had a successful postseason despite losing the World Series in 6 games.

Derek Jeter put up numbers like his second year in the majors with .292 and 78 RBIs by the end of the 2004 season. Despite the comparably lower numbers, Jeter was still selected for the All-Star game and broke the Yankee single-season record for doubles by a shortstop with 44. This year was also the year he made a catch in the 12th inning against the rival Boston Red Sox that ended up with a dive into the second row of seats, this play ended up being the Play of the Year in the This Year in Baseball Awards and was a major contributor to winning his first Gold Glove Award.

In 2005, Derek Jeter continued to show his offensive dominance, ranking second in the American League with 122 runs scored, and third in at bats and hits with 654 and 202 respectively. This year, he also won his second consecutive Golden Glove Award. The following year, Jeter had his 2,000th hit of his career, and ended the season second in the AL for batting average with .343 and runs scored with 118, third in hits with 214, and earned his seventh appearance in the All-Star Game. In the ALDS that year he batted .500, which included a 5-for-5 game, despite the team losing the series in 4 games. Jeter also came in a close second for the AL MVP award that year and was awarded the Hank Aaron Award and his third consecutive Golden Glove.

Derek Jeter continued to exceed despite the Yankees struggling in the post season, with 203 hits and a .322 batting average in 2007 and earning yet another All-Star Game appearance. 2008 saw Jeter reach several milestones, including his 400th career double and his 200th home run, as well as a ninth All-Star Game. This season, he also broke Lou Gehrig’s record for hits at Yankee Stadium with his 1,270th hit and made a speech after the final game before switching to a newly built Yankee Stadium that became’s Moment of the Year.

During the 2009 season, Derek Jeter continued to reach, and crush, career milestones, breaking the record for most hits as a short stop in MLB history with his 2,675th hit, and became the Yankees all time hits leader with his 2,722nd hit on the 8th anniversary of 9/11 while at home. This year, Jeter was also showered with awards, namely the end of the Yankees post season struggles with his fifth World Series title. He also was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, the Roberto Clemente Award, the Hank Aaron Award, a fourth Golden Glove and fourth Silver Slugger award.

After a stellar 2009, Derek Jeter showed his first sign of decline in 2010, with a .270 average and .370 SLG, which are by no means unacceptable numbers but are career lows for Jeter. Despite having his one of his statistically worst years, he was still awarded his fifth Gold Glove. Following this season, Jeter became a free agent, eventually settling on a three-year extension. His less-than desirable skid continued into 2011, where he was batting .260 up until sustaining an injury in the beginning of June, shortly after setting a new franchise record for stolen basses with his 327th.

While on his rehab assignment, Derek Jeter worked with his former minor league manager to try to stop the offensive skid, and stop it did, as after his return to the Yankees he hit for .326 with a .806 OPS. While on the uptake after his injury, Jeter crushed his 3,000th hit for a home run, only the second to do so in history after Wade Boggs. 2011 also saw Jeter breaking even more franchise records, with the most games played together with himself and Jorge Possada and the most games played as a Yankee, as well as given the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.

In 2012, Derek Jeter came out swinging, literally, after two straight sub-par seasons, batting .420 by the end of April. He continued to show that he wasn’t finished yet, having the most hits in the MLB with 216 and surpassing Willie Mays to be a part of the Top 10 all-time hit list. Unfortunately, his season ended as he fractured his ankle during a post-season game, only to further hurt himself while in rehab, delaying his return.

2013 would be a disappointing year, as Derek Jeter would remain on the disabled list until July 28th, coming back for one game earlier in the month only to be back on the list with a strained quadricep. In true Jeter fashion, when he returned to the lineup on the 28th, he hit a first pitch home run. He would go back on the disabled list two more times, once in the beginning of August, and again in September, ending his season with only 17 games played.

Following his injury-ridden 2013, Derek Jeter signed a final one-year contract with the Yankees in 2014, officially announcing his retirement that February. Jeter’s final season was more of a return to form compared to his 2013 and his slump between 2010 and 2011, as he finished the season batting .256 with 149 hits. Following his last All-Star Game, his career All-Star average of .481 landed him as the fifth best of all-time, and he became the oldest player to have two or more hits in an All-Star Game.

He set a new record for most starts at shortstop in the MLB, a new franchise record for doubles, and reached 6th on the all-time hits list. He became the 15th recipient of the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award and had the model of bat he used “retired” and remade as the “DJ2”. In his final game at Yankee Stadium, his last at bat was a walk-off single. Following this, he moved to designated hitter in the final series so his last memory as a shortstop would be “home” at Yankee Stadium. Jeter’s final hit in this series, fittingly at Fenway Park against the Red Sox, was an RBI single before being subbed for a pinch runner. With a standing ovation from the place in the world that hates the Yankees with every fiber of their being, Derek Jeter’s career as a player ended.

  • 300th Hit

  • 1st Career Home Run in 1996

  • "The Flip" in the 2001 ALDS

  • Walk-Off Game-Winning Hit in Final Home Game

  • Flips In The Stands During 2001 ALDS

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