A look back at Derek Jeter's five best All-Star Games, on the verge of the 14th and last of his career.
With Derek Jeter set to retire at the end of the season, the 2014 All-Star Game will be his last. Given that, we wanted to take this opportunity to look back at Jeter’s All-Star history. After all, this is the 14th All-Star team Jeter has made, tying Cal Ripken Jr. for second-most among shortstops behind Ozzie Smith’s 15 (Ripken also made five All-Star teams as a third baseman, including his last, in which he was elected to start at third base, but was moved to shortstop just before first pitch). It will be the 13th All-Star Game in which Jeter plays; he was elected to start in the 2011 game, which took place just days after he picked up his 3,000th hit, but he chose to stay home rather than risk aggravating a calf injury he had just returned from.
In the 12 All-Star Games he has played, Jeter has been superb. He has hit .440/.481/.600, going 11-for-25 with a double, a home run, a stolen base, three RBI and five runs scored. He won the game's Most Valuable Player award in 2000 and has helped the American League go 9-2-1. Jeter played for his own manager six times — Joe Torre in 1999, 2000, '01, '02 and '04 and Joe Girardi in 2010 — and once in his home ballpark (2008 at Yankee Stadium). Jeter has been elected by the fans as the AL’s starting shortstop 10 times, including eight of the last nine years, and for five consecutive years from 2006 to 2010, the American League lineup began with Ichiro Suzuki leading off and Jeter hitting second. Here are the five most memorable Midsummer Classics involving the Yankees' captain.
1. The MVP, Tuner Field, 2000
Jeter remains the only player ever to win the All-Star Game and World Series Most Valuable Player awards in the same year, doing so in his age-26 season in 2000. In the All-Star Game in Atlanta, Jeter started and hit second behind double-play partner and fellow future Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, then of the Indians, and went 3-for-3 with a double and a two-run single that proved to be the game winner.
In the top of the first, Jeter doubled against the Diamondbacks’ Randy Johnson, then singled and scored the AL’s first run against the Dodgers’ Kevin Brown in the top of the third. With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the fourth, Jeter singled off the Mets’ Al Leiter, scoring the Royals' Jermaine Dye and the Indians' Travis Fryman to give the AL a lead it would never relinquish in a game it eventually won 6-3. Fun fact: Jeter would later be teammates with all three pitchers he got hits off of in that game.
2. Another 3-for-3, Minute Maid Park, 2004
In 2003, Jeter suffered a separated shoulder on Opening Day that cost him the first month and a half of the season. He then slumped in June and was passed over for the All-Star Game for the first time in six years. He returned as the AL’s starting shortstop in 2004, batting seventh, and turned in another 3-for-3 performance in an American League win. Despite his low position in the batting order — Torre hit the Tigers' Ivan Rodriguez, who helped the Marlins beat New York in the previous year's World Series, second behind Suzuki — Jeter still came to the plate in the top of the first in the midst of a six-run inning for the AL against NL starter Roger Clemens, then of the Astros. Jeter’s turn came with two outs and Yankees teammate Jason Giambi on first. He singled Giambi to third, then scored on ex-teammate Alfonso Soriano’s three-run home run.
Jeter came up with Giambi on first again in the third, this time with one out, and singled off Randy Johnson, but after Soriano singled to load the bases, Johnson worked out of the jam. Jeter's final at-bat in that game was a leadoff single against the Marlins’ Carl Pavano in the top of the fifth, but he was stranded on the bases. Once again, all three NL All-Star pitchers he faced were future teammates.
3. The home run, Safeco Field, 2001
Despite setting a Yankees record for most hits in All-Star play with 11, Jeter has had just two extra-base knocks the Midsummer Classic. The first was that double to start his MVP performance in 2000. The other was a home run off the Cubs’ Jon Lieber (yes, another future teammate) in his only at-bat in the 2001 game. Alex Rodriguez, then in his first year with the Rangers, started at shortstop and was replaced by Jeter in the top of the sixth. Jeter then led off the bottom of the sixth, took three balls and hit Lieber’s fourth offering out to make it 3-1 AL. The White Sox’ Magglio Ordoñez followed with a home run of his own to set the final score at 4-1. Torre pinch-hit for Jeter in the seventh with the Twins’ Cristian Guzman.
4. Yankee Stadium, 2008
Jeter’s 1-for-3 performance in the 2008 All-Star Game was nothing special, and he had been out of the game for 9 2/3 innings by the time it was decided on a walk-off sacrifice fly by the Rangers’ Michael Young, his replacement at shortstop, in the bottom of the 15th inning. Still, simply having Jeter start the All-Star Game at the old Yankee Stadium in its final season is itself enough to put this on the list of his most memorable All-Star appearances. Batting second behind Suzuki, Jeter singled off the Brewers’ Ben Sheets (not a future teammate, but, along with Randy Johnson, one of just two pitchers he has faced twice in All-Star play; he went 2-for-2 against both) and then stole second. He was stranded in that inning, however, and grounded out in his next two at-bats against the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano and the Diamondbacks’ Dan Haren. AL manager Terry Francona then removed Jeter from the game after the first out of the top of the sixth so that Jeter could get an ovation from the home crowd.
5. The first time, Coors Field, 1998
In interview with ESPN’s Aaron Boone that aired prior to Monday night’s Home Run Derby, Jeter recalled his first All-Star experience. “1998 in Colorado. The memories I have was I was scared to death. I was sort of hesitant to speak to anyone. You know, a lot of guys in the clubhouse that I grew up watching, admiring and respecting, and now you’re in the same locker room. So, I don’t even know if I said anything.”
The players Jeter was thinking of most were probably Ripken, that year’s starter at third base, and Ken Griffey Jr., who started in center. Alex Rodriguez, then Jeter’s close friend, started at shortstop for the AL. Jeter and the Indians' Omar Vizquel were selected as reserves by Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove, but it was Jeter who replaced Rodriguez in the field in the bottom of the fifth.
Jeter’s first All-Star play came when he retired the Mets' Mike Piazza on a groundout for the second out of that inning. His first All-Star at-bat came in the top of the sixth with the AL trailing 6-5, one out, and the bases loaded with the Expos’ Ugueth Urbina on the mound. Urbina’s fourth pitch to Jeter got past NL catcher Javy Lopez to score Roberto Alomar, then of the Orioles, with the tying run on what was ruled a passed ball. Jeter then ran the count full, but struck out for the second out of the inning. The AL went on to win, 13-8. Jeter, however, was pinch-hit for with Vizquel when his turn came back around in the eighth.
Here’s a complete look at Jeter’s All-Star performances thus far (2011 has been omitted because, as mentioned above, he was elected to start but did not play):
|Year||AL Starting SS||Batting order POsition||Batting Line||winner|
|1998||Alex Rodriguez||--||0-for-1, K||AL, 13-8|
|1999||Nomar Garciaparra||---||0-for-1, K||AL, 4-1|
|2000||Derek Jeter||2nd||3-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R||AL, 6-3|
|2001||Alex Rodriguez||---||1-for-1, HR||AL, 4-1|
|2002||Alex Rodriguez||---||0-for-1, K||7-7 tie (11 innings)|
|2004||Derek Jeter||7th||3-for-3||AL, 9-4|
|2006||Derek Jeter||2nd||0-for-3, 2K||AL, 3-2|
|2007||Derek Jeter||2nd||1-for-3||AL, 5-4|
|2008||Derek Jeter||2nd||1-for-3, SB||AL, 4-3 (15 innings)|
|2009||Derek Jeter||2nd||0-for-2, HBP, 2R||AL, 4-3|
|2010||Derek Jeter||2nd||1-for-2, BB||NL, 3-1|
|2012||Derek Jeter||1st||1-for-2||NL, 8-0|