It has been a storied career for Derek Jeter. Halfway through his final season, the Yankee shortstop will appear in his 14th All-Star Game at Target Field in Minnesota. Jeter was voted as the starter for the American League at the position he has held down in the Yankees’ organization since the late 1990’s.
Jeter led all AL shortstops during the entire voting process, something that came as no surprise given his illustrious career and popularity among fans. He had a final vote count of 3,928,422. Two of those votes are mine, as I voted for Jeter and have almost every year that I have submitted an All-Star game ballot.
Whether or not the Yankees make the playoffs is yet to be seen, although it would be tough to watch a player like Derek Jeter ending his career in the regular season and not in the playoffs or even the World Series. Jeter has plenty of World Series titles, five to be exact, but that comes from a team achievement. The All-Star Game is an honor of the best players in baseball, and Jeter has earned his share of personal accolades.
He appeared in five straight All-Star games from 1998-202 and seven straight from 2006-2012. Jeter will more than likely be given a special ceremony at some point in the game, much like his former teammate Mariano Rivera received during last year’s All-Star Game at Citi Field. As humble as he his, Derek Jeter has said that he doesn’t take any All-Star Game appearance for granted and treats them all the same, but this year’s will definitely be different. It will be his last.
Jeter will be playing alongside former teammate Robinson Cano, who was voted as the AL starting second baseman. The two spent seven years together as the double-play tandem for the Yankees before Cano left last off-season to sign a deal with the Seattle Mariners.
What will baseball be losing once Derek Jeter hangs up the cleats at the end of the season? Only one of the greatest players the game has ever seen. Jeter was the sixth overall pick by the Yankees in the 1992 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He has spent his entire career with one team, en route to five Silver Slugger awards, five Gold Gloves, and numerous top-10 finishes in the MVP race. His highest finish was second in 2006, as the Twins’ Justin Morneau was the ultimate winner.
Derek Jeter is one of only three players in MLB history with at least 3,000 hits, 250 home runs, and 350 stolen bases. The others are Craig Biggio and Ricky Henderson. At 40 years of age, few players have accomplished what Jeter has done or are likely to do so.
We may not get to watch Derek Jeter after this season, but I know I will definitely be watching the All-Star game to see the sendoff that baseball has in store for one of its all-time greats.