The last member of the Core Four (Posada, Pettitte, Rivera and Jeter) will be hanging them up after this season. Frankly, I don’t like the term Core Four, although it rhymes, because Bernie Williams came up a bit before the four did, and he was as vital as they were. The strength of a team is up the middle, and right there you had a catcher, starter, closer, shortstop and center fielder.
Entering this final season of his, Derek Jeter has a .312 career batting average. 3316 hits. 256 HR, 348 SB. He should pass Molitor, Yaz and Honus Wagner on the all-time hits list. Passing Wagner will be huge. It’ll mean no one whose primary position was SS would have had more hits. Jeter needs 184 for 3500, and 199 to pass Tris Speaker for fifth, behind only Rose, Cobb, Aaron and Musial. I don’t think he’ll catch “Spoke”, but 199 isn’t out of the question. I just don’t think he’ll do it. I hope he gets the 184 for 3500. At the very least, 115 to pass Wagner.
It will be a year like last year, which was Mo’s farewell tour. Prices for tickets for 9/25, the Yanks’ last regular season game at the Stadium this year, are skyrocketing. The Yanks are scheduled to close the season at Fenway. We’ll see if the Yanks are still in the hunt then and if Jeter will play there in Boston.
If he does play in Boston, and the Yanks are out of the playoff picture, it’s worth noting that the final regular season game is 9/28. Mickey Mantle played his final game in Boston on 9/28/1968.
Only two players in the history of baseball have 3000 hits, 250 HR, 300 SB and 1200 RBI. One is Willie Mays. The other is Derek Jeter.
He is a 13x All-Star, and barring injury, is a lock to be picked to this year’s team so all can say goodbye. Hopefully he has another postseason to play in. Jeter’s 162 g. average is .312-16-79, with 22 SB in 28 attempts. OPS+ 117. (.828)
He has played in 158 postseason games. A full season of JUST postseason games, against the best competition. In those games, he is .308-20-61 with 18 SB in 23 attempts. OPS .838. Little, if any dropoff.
He has won five WS rings so far. He was the 2009 SI Sportsman of the Year.
…. and he has done it with class. He has represented the game well, as opposed to many others, one of which has played several yards away from Jeter—at 3B—since 2004.
He was ROY in 1996, WS and All-Star MVP in 2000. He never won a regular season MVP but finished 2nd once, 3rd two other times. 8x top 10.
So who will be captain after Jeter? Frankly, I expect that title to be vacant for a while. It has to be earned, and frankly there are too many new faces to think that anyone has earned or deserves that title.
I expect Joe Torre’s #6 to be retired at Old-Timers’ Day this year (I am going to the game) because it is just a few weeks before his HOF induction this summer. Expect the Yanks to honor Jeter as they did Rivera last year….by retiring his #2 the last week of the season, and by having his teammates wear that #2 that final week.
Once those numbers are retired, every Yankee # from 1 through 10 will be out of circulation… along with 15, 16, 23, 32, 37, 42, 44, 49.
Then there are some others not officially retired…. 20, 46, 51, 21 ……. they’ll look like a football team out there.
But that is for the future.
Cherish Jeter’s final year as you did Rivera’s. You won’t see the likes of them as players or CLASSY players often again.
Here is hoping Derek, like Mo, goes out with a good season, and maybe one that tops Mo’s…. by having Jeter go out, as Mo couldn’t, as a WS champion.
Thanks for all the memories, Derek. Now go make one more year’s worth.