Goodbye Captain Clutch
Some people call him Mr. November, Captain Clutch, The Captain, no matter what nickname you give him, Derek Jeter has been one of the most influential baseball players of all time. Love him or hate him, Jeter has been in the forefront of MLB’s conversation since entering the league. Drafted with the 6th pick in the 1992 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees, Jeter was instantly hyped as the next big thing for an organization that only really knows big.
Only 3 years later Jeter would claim the starting shortstop job for the New York Yankees, a position that he would go on to hold for 18 years. 1996 also saw Jeter win the AL Rookie of the Year, play in, and win his first World Series title. From the outset it was clear that Derek Jeter knew how to capitalize on key moments.
In the 18 years pre-Jeter, the Yankees appeared in 1 World Series (1981) and had 0 World Series titles. In the 18 years with Jeter as the starting shortstop for New York, the Yankees appeared in 7 World Series, winning 5. That is not to say that Jeter achieved this success on his own. He played with names like Bernie Williams, Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, David Cone, Mariano Rivera, David Wells, Jorge Posada, Chuck Knoblauch, Tino Martinez, Roger Clemons, Alfonso Soriano, and many more of baseball’s all-time greats. But among those names, Jeter’s name rose to the top. He was the face of one of the most successful eras for any team in the history of baseball. Those Yankees teams not only became legends, but beating them created legends. Would the 2004 Red Sox World Series title have been as important had they not come back from 3 games down to beat Jeter’s New York Yankees in the ALCS? Would Curt Shilling and Randy Johnson be as iconic had they not stopped a 4th straight World Series title for the Yankees in 2001? Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees have had a hand in an unreasonably large number of baseballs great moments since 1996.
With 5 games left in Jeter’s playing career, the demand to see him in person has skyrocketed. The median ticket price for Jeter’s last game at Yankees Stadium is $312 and the median price for the final game of his career against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday is already $252. To put that in perspective, the final home game and the final game of the season last year for the Yankees had median ticket prices of $90, and $68 respectively. Looking at Jeter’s career, this demand is anything but surprising.
Derek Jeter currently sits number 6 on the all-time hits list at 3461. That is the most by any shortstop of all time and the most by any Yankee. He has over 500 more hits than Babe Ruth, over 1,000 more than Mickey Mantle, and over 1,300 more than Yogi Berra. With every at bat Derek Jeter has a chance to add to that total, but moves just a little closer to the end. For a player who has a career World Series batting average of .321, and who is 1 of only 2 players to hit a home run for their 3,000 hit, is there any doubt that Captain Clutch will make the most of them?