Who exactly is Derek Sanderson Jeter? Derek was born on June 26, 1974 to Dorothy and Dr. Sanderson Jeter. His birth came in Pequannock, New Jersey, less than 30 miles away from Yankee Stadium. At age four he moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan but his ties to New Jersey spawned his love and interest in the New York Yankees as he frequently traveled to games when he visited every summer.
In Kalamazoo, Jeter would earn All State honors and eventually becoming a 1992 Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year and USA Today's High School Player of the Year. Since Jeter received a full scholarship to the University of Michigan he fell to the Yankees with the sixth overall pick of the 1992 Major League Baseball draft. Jeter would forego his scholarship and turn pro almost immediately.
Minor Leagues From 1992 to 1995, Jeter would play in the minor leagues before finally cracking the starting lineup in 1995 when the Yankees suffered an injury to then shortstop Tony Fernandez. In 1996, coach Joe Torre announced Jeter as the opening day shortstop and the rest is history. He hit a home run in the first game of the season showing Yankee fans a glimpse of things to come. That year he would go on to win the Rookie of the Year honors while leading the team to their first World Series Title since 1978.
Yankees Over the next four years, Jeter would lead the Yankees to three more championships. Although it took him nearly ten years to win his fifth World Series Title, the 35-year-old missed the postseason only once on his 15 plus seasons. His illustrious career may be the best amongst his shortstop peers as he projects to surpass 3,000 hits in the upcoming season. In fact, he possesses the hits record for shortstops and figures to challenge the 4,000 hit plateau.
Practice Despite consistent criticism from a relentless New York media, Jeter continues to improve areas of his games. Last season, he devoted most of the off-season to fielding practice leading the majority of his critics to applaud his extra work. In addition, this past season he passed Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig for the all-time Yankee hits leader with 2,747 and counting.
Romance Through rumors of an engagement to actress Minka Kelly, the shortstop continues to shine in the spotlight. As a consummate professional he says all the right things to the media and acting as a role model not only to his fans but fellow athletes. Jeter consistently gives back to the community with his Turn 2 Foundation and represents reputable companies like Nike, Gatorade and Ford amongst others. Most importantly he serves as the eleventh captain in Yankee history which essentially guarantees his status as a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Posted on: Mar. 10, 2010