Top 5 Memories for Derek Jeter in Detroit
On Thursday afternoon, Derek Jeter will bid farewell to Detroit as he plays his final regular-season game at Comerica Park. Detroit is the fifth-last stop in Jeter’s swan-song tour, which brings to an end a glittering 20-year MLB career.
Undoubtedly, Jeter’s name will be etched in baseball folklore as one of the game’s all-time greats. You name it, he has achieved it: five World Series titles, 14 All-Star appearances, five Gold Gloves, five Silver Sluggers and the list goes on.
The ensuing slides include Jeter’s personal achievements, as well as significant happenings for the New York Yankees.
Higher rankings were given to important team games/series than Jeter’s own achievements. This was done because team accomplishments (and failures) that he was a part of are more important than individual ones and sit longer in our memories. They would also be more meaningful to Jeter, who has always put his team first.
Jeter has experienced plenty of big moments—both positive and negative—over the years in Detroit. His skills and grace have been on show for Michiganders for nearly two decades, and with only one game left to savor him, now is the time to look back at Jeter’s best (and worst) times in the Motor City.
Jeter has played more than 50 games in Detroit, including three postseason series. These two narrowly missed the top five.
The Current Series: Jeter has received incredibly warm ovations in both games so far in this three-game set. Detroit fans recognize what the Yankees captain has brought to the game and have shown their appreciation for his great contributions. Jeter’s smiles at the plate show that he is enjoying his baseball as much as ever.
Career Triples: Jeter’s nine triples against the Tigers are tied with the Orioles for most against any club for him. Some of these have come in Detroit, particularly earlier in his career when speed was still a part of his game.
5. Two Triples in One Game
On September 10, 1996, Jeter achieved the first—and only—multiple triple game of his career. Legging out triples has not been a feature of Jeter’s game in recent years, as Father Time has caught up with him. The Yankees shortstop has only hit one triple the past three seasons.
However, in his rookie year, Jeter’s speed was a major threat. He smacked six three-baggers during the season, including a pair that day at Tiger Stadium—a place where he always enjoyed hitting.
4. First Season at Comerica Park
Comerica Park opened in 2000, and Jeter enjoyed ringing in the new millennium at this beautiful ballpark.
In a late June series, Jeter was on fire at the plate, collecting multiple hits in each of the three games. His 7-for-16 (.438) also included four RBI.
The Yankees lost two of the three games in that series but had a great shortstop who was on course to leading them to a fourth World Series title in five years.
3. Playing at Tiger Stadium
In the first quarter of his career, Jeter relished the opportunity to swing his bat at the Tigers’ hitter-friendly former home. “I liked old Tiger Stadium because right field had an overhang. You could hit balls that appeared to be outs, and they’d end up as a home run. It was fun to play in old Tiger Stadium,” said Jeter, per Chris McCosky of The Detroit News.
According to ESPN, Jeter had a .360/.429/.547 slash line at Tiger Stadium. This is the best line that Jeter has posted at any of the 18 ballparks that he has played in his career (minimum 15 games).
As a farewell gesture, the Detroit Tigers gifted Jeter two souvenir seats from the old ballpark. He now has more than just memories of this ballpark, which was a very productive place for him.
2. 2011 ALDS Game 4
With the Yankees trailing 2-1 in the series and their season on the line, Jeter delivered a fine performance as his team staved off elimination in Detroit.
Jeter’s double in the third inning drove in both Jorge Posada and Russell Martin to stake the Yankees to a 2-0 lead. He then turned a key double play in the fifth inning to preserve a three-run Yankees advantage.
Jeter also scored a run and walked in this game as the Bronx Bombers went on to win 10-1.
1. 2006 ALDS Game 4
With New York bidding to break its five-year title drought, the Tigers ousted the Yankees convincingly in four games with the clincher in Detroit.
Jeter was outstanding in this series with a .500 batting average (8-for-16), but his efforts were not enough to halt a Tigers team that was bound for the Fall Classic.
Jaret Wright and Cory Lidle surrendered six runs in the first four innings in Game 4, which the Yankees were never able to make up.
This began a bad run for New York against Detroit in the postseason. The Tigers have knocked them out of the playoffs three times in the past seven seasons.
If Jeter can make one final run at the postseason in 2014, he will be hoping to avoid the old English D.
Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of MLB.com.
To talk baseball, find me on Twitter: @junc1979