The Derek Jeter Era Is About As Good As the New York Yankees Have Ever Been

Perry ArnoldSenior Analyst IJanuary 30, 2010

4 Apr 2000:  Derek Jeter #2 of the New  York Yankees  rounds first  base during their game against the Anaheim Angels  at Edison Field in Anaheim, California. Mandatory Credit: TOM HAUCK/ALLSPORT
Tom Hauck/Getty Images

Derek Jeter came to the New York Yankees in 1996. Since his arrival, the team has missed the playoffs only one time.

They have played in seven World Series and won five of them.

Before Jeter's arrival, it had been 18 years since the Yankees had been champions. This had been the longest drought in the team's history since they won their first title in 1923.

There was a 12-year gap between the team that lost to the Cardinals in 1964 and the team that lost to the Reds in 1976.

Before that, you had to go back to the Highlanders/Yankees days before the purchase of Babe Ruth to find a period of time when the Yankees had gone as many as three years between World Series appearances.

Beginning in 1923, the Yankees would appear in the Series 40 times. And, of course, they have won 27 titles.

The most prolific championship teams for the Yankees were in the Joe McCarthy/Lou Gehrig/Joe DiMaggio era of the 1930s and 1940s and the Casey Stengel/Yogi Berra/Mickey Mantle Yankees in the '50s and '60s.

The Yankees won seven World Series trophies under McCarthy.

Stengel matched McCarthy's titles with seven of his own between 1949 and 1960.

Without question, the greatest streak belongs to Stengel's teams that won five straight titles between '49 and '53.

The Jeter teams won four titles in five years from 1996 through 2000. They returned to the series and lost in seven games to Arizona in 2001 and then came back two years later, only to lose to the Marlins.

Jeter remained, though, and his team saw postseason play in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

After failing to reach the ALDS in 2008, they rebounded to win it all last season.

Prior dynasties had their figureheads: Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle, and Munson. Jeter has been the icon of this Yankee dynasty.

Jeter has not been the only great among the current Yankees. Some could even argue that Mariano Rivera has been more valuable.

Quiet and incredible, but unspectacular, Mo has not been the face of this team. Only Jeter can claim that title. And he has done so somewhat reluctantly.

George Steinbrenner almost had to force Jeter to accept the role of captain. He has refused to wear a "C" or any other designation on his uniform.

Without question, Jeter is the leader of this team, almost since his advent in '96, and he still has several years left to play.

It is impossible to say if Jeter will win any more rings, but he will be the most memorable Yankee of this era without question.

And among all the Yankee eras, the Jeter Era has to rank among the top three.