After going 0-for-6 to start his major league career, Derek Jeter picked up his first hit in the fifth inning of his second major league game, at Seattle's Kingdome. Jeter led off the inning with a ground-ball single through the shortstop hole off the Mariners' Tim Belcher and ultimately came around to score his first run. He singled and scored in his next at-bat as well.
2 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
Handed the Yankees' shortstop job to start the 1996 season, Jeter silenced front-office doubts about his readiness on Opening Day in Cleveland. In his second at-bat of the season, he led off the top of the fifth by pulling a solo home run over Jacobs Field's leftfield wall. Jeter also impressed in the field as the Yankees won, 7-1. He then went 3-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base the next day. By season's end, he was the unanimous choice for AL Rookie of the Year.
3 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
It should have been the second out of the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS. Instead, in one of the most famous blown calls in major league history, rightfield umpire Richie Garcia failed to notice 12-year-old Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier reaching over the fence to pull Jeter's fly ball to right over the wall. Jeter's first great postseason moment tied the game at 4; New York won in 11 and took the series in five games.
4 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
Jeter remains the only player ever to win All-Star and World Series MVP honors in the same season. He picked up the former thanks to a 3-for-3 performance as the AL's starting shortstop that was capped off by a tie-breaking, two-RBI, single to center off the Mets' Al Leiter in the top of the fourth at Turner Field. The AL won 6-3.
5 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
Jeter's 1,000th hit was a ground-ball single off Tigers' knuckleballer Steve Sparks with one out and a man on first in the bottom of the fifth at Yankee Stadium. It was the second of three hits he had in that game.
6 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
The Yankees led the first Subway Series since 1956 two games to one but seemed to have lost the momentum after dropping Game 3. Then Jeter hit Bobby Jones' first pitch of Game 4 into Shea Stadium's leftfield bleachers for a home run. The Yankees won that game and the next to clinch their third consecutive world championship and fourth in Jeter's first five years as the Yankees' shortstop.
7 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
Major league baseball had never been played in November before Jeter stepped to the plate against Diamondbacks closer Byung-Hyun Kim with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 4 of the World Series. As the clock struck midnight, flipping the calendar to November, Jeter fell in, then battled out of, an 0-2 hole, and hit the ninth pitch of the at-bat just over the wall in rightfield for a game-winning solo home run, the first walk-off homer of his career. The blast earned Jeter the nickname "Mr. November."
8 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
The only other walk-off home run of Jeter's career came in the second game of 2005, a solo shot to right-center leading off the bottom of the ninth against Red Sox closer Keith Foulke. It proved to be decisive in more ways than one. The Yankees didn't clinch the AL East until the second-to-last day of that season, ultimately doing so by virtue of their one-game advantage in head-to-head competition against the Red Sox after finishing the regular season tied with Boston.
9 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
Through the first nine and a half seasons of his career, Jeter hit .336/.379/.403 with the bases loaded, but in 153 opportunities, he had never hit a grand slam. Until, that is, he went deep with the bags soaked against the Cubs' Joe Borowski, a one-out shot to left-center in the bottom of the sixth inning that remains his only career slam.
10 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
Jeter's 2,000th hit was accompanied by controversy. He hit a ball into the dirt in front of home plate but wound up on second base when Royals catcher Paul Bako made an errant throw. It was ruled a single and an error. Jeter then stole third on the next pitch and later scored on a single by Alex Rodriguez.
11 of 12Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
In the first season at new Yankee Stadium, Jeter broke Lou Gehrig's 72-year-old record for the most hits in Yankees history with hit number 2,722, a ground-ball through the left side off Orioles rookie Chris Tillman leading off the third inning.
12 of 12
Jeter's 3,000th hit came in dramatic fashion. He became the second member of the 28-man club to mark his entrance with a home run, joining former teammate Wade Boggs. Jeter took the Rays' David Price deep in the third inning, the second hit of the day for No. 2 and at precisely 2 p.m.
You May Like
More SI Kids
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!