Derek Jeter wasn’t just the captain of the New York Yankees, he was the King of New York. For over 15 years, Jeter symbolized excellence and class for a sport that was marred in controversy.
It’s only right that Jeter would be elected to the Baseball Hall Of Fame on his first year of eligibility.
Jeter was voted in at a 99.7 percent clip, receiving 396 of 397 possible votes. He actually missed being a unanimous first-ballot Hall of Famer by one vote. One single vote.
“I was speechless when I got the call,” Jeter said. “Quite frankly, I was pretty nervous, and when I got it I really didn’t know what to say.”
Jeter was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1996 as the Yankees won the World Series for the first time since 1978, then led New York to three straight titles from 1998-2000. The team would go on to capture another championship in 2009, in the first year at the new Yankee Stadium.
Jeter became a 14-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner despite defensive metrics that were maligned. He was appointed captain by owner George Steinbrenner in June 2003, filling a position that had been open since Don Mattingly’s retirement after the 1995 season. He finished with 3,465 hits, 260 homers, 358 stolen bases, and 1,311 RBIs, earning $266 million from the Yankees
In a sport that isn’t as popular as it was in the 1990s, Jeter helped keep the number one brand in all of sports relevant, and for that, he might go down as the last great Yankee ever.