With Derek Jeter announcing he will be retiring after the 2014 MLB season, it got the writers of Sports Unbiased thinking of what their favorite Derek Jeter moment of all-time was. Normally each writer will rank their top-5 moments and then we’ll rank them all in order of voting results.
Well, this time around, we just went with one moment each. Each writer briefly explained why they picked that particular moment from Derek Jeter’s long and storied career. There are also videos of each moment. When you are done reading and watching the moments, please take a second and vote in the poll for your all-time favorite Derek Jeter moment.
“The Flip” – 2001 ALDS Game 3, Yankees vs Athletics
Jay Osika: To me, Derek Jeter’s defense is what defined his career, even though he is in the 3000 hit club. His jump throw from deep short is so iconic, players yell his name as they do it. Even with that, his most memorable moment is the “flip play” from the 2001 ALDS against the Oakland A’s. The Yankees were down 2-0 in the series, and were on the verge of getting swept. In the 7th inning, the A’s were down by one when Terrance Long lines a ball to right field. Jeremy Giambi looked like he would score, but as the ball sailed into the infield after missing the cut-off man, Jeter flies across the infield delivering a back-hand-flip to Jorge Posada. Giambi is called out, the Yankees win the game, and they eventually go on to the World Series (where they would lose to the Arizona Diamondbacks). That play prolonged the season in spectacular fashion. The play not only showed his HOF talent, but also his incredible baseball IQ.
Courtesy of dircolec
The 3,000th Hit – Yankees Stadium, July 9, 2011
Brian Reese: I remember tuning into ESPN to watch Jeter accomplish this remarkable feat. When he hit the 3-2 curveball off of David Price and it soared over the left field wall, I remember getting goose bumps because I just witnessed something incredible. He joins Wade Boggs as the only other player to hit a home run for his 3,000th hit. It was fitting that he got the hit in Yankee Stadium and the home run further solidified Jeter as one of the all-time greats.
Tim Kennedy: As I was only introduced to the amazing sport that now consumes my life, that is baseball, three years ago during my summer holiday in California, when I saw the SF Giants play, my first recollection of Derek Jeter was when he joined the 3000 hit club. He had a multi-hit game, topped off with a home run, and he put away his 3,000th hit, a truly remarkable moment for a true icon of baseball.
Courtesy of Jay Gandhi
“The Jump Throw” – Entire Career
Mike Santangelo: My favorite Jeter moment might be a little different from what one might expect from a Yankee fan. While there will always be “the flip” to get Giambi, and “the dive” against the Red Sox, the one thing that has always stuck out in my mind when thinking about Jeter is his patented run in to the hole jump throw. We saw it so many times over the years, and even as he got older it was still a thing of beauty. All arguments about his lack of range, medium arm, etc, aside, Jeter excelled at positioning himself and making plays like that look easy. So when I think of The Captain, that’s the image that always comes to mind.
Alex Brooks: This without a doubt was an easy one. When you think Jeter in the field, you have to automatically think the “Jeter Jump Throw.” He has made it a trademark of himself in the field, and makes it look like a simple task; that is until another shortstop tries to do it and fails. Jeter, I think, will go down as the greatest shortstop ever, and I think the jump throw on a nightly basis just showed how great of an athlete he really is; we may never see someone who can do it so effortlessly.
Courtesy of MLB
“The Dive” – Yankees vs Red Sox, July 1, 2004
Kimani Gregoire: As a die-hard Red Sox fan, I can’t stand the Yankees, so I don’t have a “favorite” Derek Jeter moment. However, I think I speak for most when I say that as much as I despise the Yankees I have the upmost respect for Jeter and the way he played and respected the game. No moment has this been more obvious than this play against my Red Sox on July 1st 2004.
The Yankees had won the previous two games and were looking for a three-game sweep at Yankees Stadium. The two teams were in the midst of one of their customary marathon games – this one in extra innings. It was the top of the 12th inning. Trot Nixon was at bat and hit a pop fly just beyond third base. I remember thinking that the ball would fall for a bloop hit (or perhaps go foul) when Jeter came racing out of nowhere to snag the ball without breaking stride. His momentum took him all the way into the stands, flying in headfirst.
The impact left him bruised and bloodied (to the horror of ladies everywhere I suppose) and Jeter had to leave the game for the hospital for X-rays. Predictably, the Red Sox would eventually lose in 13 innings.
This play serves as the embodiment of who Derek Jeter is as a player. This was not a World Series game, a postseason game, or even a late regular season game with a playoff berth on the line. This was a game in the middle of the regular season, a division game in which the Yankees had a 7 1/2 game lead. Yet here is Jeter, showing no regard for his body as if he was still trying to make the team or something. I don’t think anyone else in baseball would risk hurting themselves in that situation.
It is plays like this one in particular, which makes you have nothing but respect for the great Yankees shortstop; even if you’re a Red Sox fan.
Adam Solowiei: It was hard to pick just one moment that personifies Derek Jeter. However, in 2004, one moment will forever be linked to Derek Jeter as well the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry. July baseball is often forgotten or considered irrelevant to many in the grand scheme of the baseball season. However, in July of 2004 the Yankees and Red Sox were playing a game into extra innings. The Red Sox were trying to close the 7 1/2 game gap that separated them from the boys from the Bronx while the Yankees were looking to close out a three game sweep at home and hand another loss to Pedro Martinez. With two outs and runners on second and third in the 12th inning, Trot Nixon hit a shallow fly ball off third base in foul territory. Jeter closed on the ball but couldn’t slow down before being launched into the stands. He emerged bruised and bloody but with the ball for the third out. The Yankees would go on to win in 13 innings.
Courtesy of MLB
“Mr. November” – November 1, 2001 – World Series Game 4
Rich Stowe: Due to the tragic events of 9/11, the playoffs in 2001 were pushed back and unless there was a 4-game sweep in the World Series, the World Series would be played in November for the first time in history. Well a sweep wasn’t possible and in Game 4 of the World Series, the Yankees came back against the Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion tying the game and forcing extra innings.
After the clock struck midnight, rolling the clock from October 31st to November 1st, Derek Jeter, who always seemed to be at the heart of “magical” Yankees moments in his career, hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning and earned the nickname “Mr. November” (similar to Reggie Jackson‘s “Mr. October” due to his October heroics).
I was in Kosovo at the time for the Air Force and several of us had stayed up to watch the game (it didn’t start until around 2am) so we were all still awake at just after 6am when Jeter hit this home run. We celebrated the home run (we were all Yankees fans) and then we all had to go to work on no sleep. Jeter, for a non-power hitter, had some great home runs in his career – the Jeffrey Maier HR, the HR for his 3,000th hit and this one; it’s up to you to decide which is your favorite. It’s also amazing that two of Jeter’s most memorable moments were from the 2001 MLB Playoffs (“The Flip” and “Mr. November”).
Courtesy of dadarkenedmoon
So, what do you think? Did we leave your favorite moment off? Please vote in the poll for your favorite and feel free to comment as well.