Reaching the Hall of Fame in your chosen sport means that you were clearly a premier player during your career. To do so while finishing with 99.7% of the voting in your first year of eligibility – falling just one vote shy of being a unanimous player – means that you are officially a legend of your sport.
That makes Derek Jeter a baseball legend.
Jeter is a player who has been Cooperstown bound from the very beginning. His career would have seen him reach the Hall no matter the team he played for, but to do it all as a New York Yankee just makes his achievements mean a little more. That is the power of playing in the history laden stadium in the Bronx.
His career WAR – a metric that baseball writers and voters are in love with today – is an impressive 72.4. He is not the greatest shortstop of all time – that nod goes to either Honus Wagner or Cal Ripen – but he is a player who has raw numbers that compete with the best. His legacy and his stance as a premier player, however, go far beyond the raw numbers of his career. He is a player that people will argue all day about being overrated or underrated to the point that Jeter is rated just about where he should be, and that is as an icon of the game.
Jeter was a 14-time MLB All-Star. He was the 1996 AL Rookie of the Year and he won the World Series with the Yankees five times. He finished his career sixth all-time in hits with 3,465, which makes sense as he was a contact hitter known for his ability to find gaps in the infield with his smooth stroke of the bat.
He played with the Yankees for 20 seasons and seemed to love every single minute of being a professional athlete. His postseason numbers were even better as he put together a .306/.374/.465 slash line.
Jeter was also a player who seemed to make big plays when needed. They are the plays that you remember and that will continue to be a part of telling the story of the Yankees for generations to come. When you add in the principles of the man, his leadership, character, and consistency, you have everything you would want in a premier player and newly minted Hall of Famer.
Article by Premier Players