By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on July 17, 2014
Derek Jeter has been one of the most beloved professional athletes in New York’s illustrious sports history. He has also been one of the most respected athletes in the history of sports, not just Major League Baseball. Jeter has been involved in countless moments that will live on forever and be remembered for generations to come. Here now are the 10 greatest plays in Derek Jeter's career.
Jeter first entered the record books in 1995 when he got his first hit, a single, off Seattle's Tim Belcher.
The first of Derek Jeter's 258 career home runs came in 1996 against Cleveland's Dennis Martinez, who had previously thrown a perfect game a few years back.
It took Jeter 10 seasons and his first 156 home runs to finally get his first grand slam. This home run came off Chicago Cubs' pitcher Joe Borowski in 2005. It has been his only Grand Slam in his career at this point.
Aided by an overzealous fan named Jeffrey Maier, Jeter hit a critical home run in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS. The play changed the complexion of the series and the Yankees would go on to win their first World Series since 1978.
After losing Game 3 to the New York Mets in the 2000 World Series, Jeter led off Game 4 with a solo home run off the first pitch. The Yankees won that game 3-2 and won Game 5 to clinch their third consecutive World Series title.
In 2004, Jeter made one of the most gutsy defensive plays in Yankee history against the Red Sox. He went on a full sprint after a Trot Nixon popup and made an excellent backhanded grab. He emerged from the stands bloodied and bruised, but he earned the respect of even the Red Sox players that day.
Jeter passed the immortal Lou Gehrig as the Yankees' all-time hits leader after blasting a single. The previous mark set by Gehrig was 2,721 career hits, and as of today, Jeter has 3,408.
Jeter made his greatest defensive play as a Yankee during Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS against the Oakland Athletics. It became simply known as "the flip". Yankees outfielder Shane Spencer badly overthrew the cutoff man while attempting to stop a crucial run from scoring. Jeter came out of nowhere to grab the errant throw and save the Yankees from postseason elimination by flipping it to Jorge Posada for the out.
Former Yankee great Reggie Jackson received the label "Mr. October" after his timely hits helped the Yankees in the postseason. Jeter took that one step further and became "Mr. November" in 2001. In Game 4 of the World Series, Jeter hit a walk-off home run off Arizona's Byung-Hyun Kim, which tied the series at 2-2.
Jeter became part of the famed 3,000 hit club and did it in the most memorable way possible. Against Tampa Bay, Jeter bashed a solo home run off David Price. The game was also memorable in that Jeter had five hits in five at bats, becoming only the second player in MLB history to have five hits on the day he achieved his 3,000th hit (Craig Biggio was the first).
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