Derek Jeter Reveals Scariest Moment of His Career: ‘That Was Petrifying for Me’

Playing in the World Series was a breeze for the former Yankee star compared to this gig.
Before Jeter became a broadcaster, he hosted an episode of 'SNL' and guest starred on 'Seinfeld' during his playing days.
Before Jeter became a broadcaster, he hosted an episode of 'SNL' and guest starred on 'Seinfeld' during his playing days. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. This week’s SI Media With Jimmy Traina is the 500th episode of the podcast.

Joining me for the big show is Hall of Famer and current Fox broadcaster, Derek Jeter. As I said on the podcast, this was a full-circle moment for me because my first big in-person interview back in my Hot Clicks days was with Jeter, which is pretty ridiculous to read now.

During the episode, Jeter revealed why he ended up doing two things he never thought he’d do: Go into broadcasting and join social media. Jeter also talked about why he has no desire to call games, his favorite broadcaster, memories of John Sterling, the implementation of the pitch clock and more.

Toward the end of the conversation, I asked Jeter which acting gig he enjoyed more: Hosting Saturday Night Live or guest starring on Seinfeld.

“I’ve never been as scared to death as I was when I hosted Saturday Night Live,” said Jeter. “Never.”

I asked him if he was more nervous hosting SNL than playing in Game 7 of the World Series.

“Game 7 of the World Series, I was prepared for,” Jeter said. “That’s fun. It didn’t work out for us in Game 7 of the World Series, but I was prepared for it. You can’t prepare yourself for hosting Saturday Night Live.

“I have the utmost respect for those actors and actresses, but doing something live where if you make a mistake, the whole world sees it, it’s something that you’re not used to doing. You have zero experience. That was petrifying for me.

Seinfeld, I enjoyed doing, but you could do retakes. You could do it over and over and over again. Both of them were special, but Saturday Night Live—never been so scared, but had a great, great time. It was a wonderful cast when I was there. Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Will Ferrell. Loved it, but I was scared to death.”

You can listen to the full interview with Jeter below or on Apple and Spotify.

You can also watch it on YouTube.

2. Scott Van Pelt thoroughly enjoyed doing highlights of Chris Berman playing in the pro-am at the Travelers Championship on Wednesday.

3. Jon Rahm just became my favorite golfer. Based on these comments he made Wednesday, he seems to hate streaming sports as much as I do.

4. Speaking of golf, Bryson DeChambeau has had the U.S. Open trophy in his possession since Sunday, but he’s apparently not ready to let it go from his hands. He was spotted casually carrying the trophy around Nashville.

5. Chris "Mad Dog" Russo lit up Stephen A. Smith on Wednesday’s episode of First Take for Smith’s ridiculous entrances during the NBA Finals.

6. Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford was ejected in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Guardians after arguing with the home plate umpire after being called out on strikes.

One Mariners fan who felt bad for Crawford decided to cheer him up by having a pizza delivered to him at the ballpark.

Since this is a feel-good story, I won't point out how Domino's isn't really pizza and I'll just tell you that Crawford ended up getting the delivery and seemed very happy about it.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: If you’ve listened to SI Media With Jimmy Traina over the past few months, you know that I’ve talked a bunch about trying to get Lionel Richie on the podcast after I watched the We Are The World documentary on Netflix. While I couldn’t land Lionel (I actually did get a response, though), I still need to acknowledge his 75th birthday today because to this day, he puts on one hell of a show..

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

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Jimmy Traina


Jimmy Traina is a staff writer and podcast host for Sports Illustrated. A 20-year veteran in the industry, he’s been covering the sports media landscape for seven years and writes a daily column, Traina Thoughts. Traina has hosted the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast since 2018, a show known for interviews with some of the most important and powerful people in sports media. He also was the creator and writer of SI’s Hot Clicks feature from 2007 to '13.