Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter at the New York Yankees vs. Colora...
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Derek Jeter

Born in Pequannok, New Jersey in June of 1974, Derek Jeter and his family later moved to Michigan where Jeter played basketball and baseball at his Kalamazoo, Michigan high school. He was chosen by the New York Yankees as the sixth overall first round pick of the 1996 draft.

He quickly began to establish himself as one of the top players in his league. He was awarded Rookie of the Year in his first season with the Yankees. He continued to show improvement each year at the plate and delivered outstanding fielding in his shortstop position. He was the first rookie in 34 years to start with the Yankee as shortstop during the first season. Derek Jeter has become one of modern baseball’s most recognized names.

Jeter helped propel the Yankees toward a World Series win against the Atlanta Braves in 1995. The following year, he had five hits and five runs scored during the 1996 World Series. Though the team did not make it to the World Series in 1997, Jeter batted .291 with 70 RBIs and 10 home runs. Jeter had achieved celebrity status by the 1998 season, which he ended with a .324 batting average, 19 home runs, 84 RBIs and 203 hits. He was the leagues high scorer with a total of 127 runs.

Derek Jeter 1

In 1999, Jeter became the highest paid player among those with just a few years of service. When Jeter and his agent could not reach an agreement with the Yankees about his new contract, they went to arbitration with the Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner. Jeter won this arbitration and earned a one-year $5 million dollar contract.

Jeter kept his drive and focus, and that paid off for him again in 1999. He ended that season breaking most of his personal records. His impressive statistics included 24 home runs, 134 runs scored, 9 triples, 102 RBIs and an incredible .349 batting average. He received the All-Star award for a second time that season.

In 2000, the New York Yankees faced the New York Mets in World Series Play. Jeter started game four of the series with a home run hit off the first pitch of the game. In his next at-bat, Jeter hit a triple and scored, resulting in a three-run lead by the Yankees. The New York Yankees won the World Series in game five.

Even though Jeter has achieved superstar status, he spends time giving back to his community. With his father, Jeter founded the Turn 2 Foundation. The foundation supports high-risk kids and provides alternatives to drug abuse. It encourages academic success and healthy lifestyle choices. Turn 2 has branches in Jeters hometown of Kalamazoo, and in New York City, where he now lives.

Derek Jeter was the first player in history to be named both the World Series MVP and All-Star Game MVP in the same season; he received these awards in 2000. He has been is a seven time American League All-Star.

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James Hicks
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