While the All-Star Game has become a showcase for individual stars, the World Series has lost little of its luster.
There is nothing better or more important than winning the World Series. Getting there merely gives a team the chance to win the last game of the season.
Those individuals that consider losing the World Series a successful season are individuals that are rationalizing.
Did a tearful Mickey Mantle, sitting at his locker after the seventh game of the 1960 World Series, think that the Yankees had a successful season? How successful a year do the 2001 New York Yankees think they had?
Entering the 2000 season, Jeter had been an integral part of the 1996, 1998 and 1999 world champion Yankees. He had played four seasons and had three World Series rings.
Jeter started at shortstop in the 2000 All-Star Game. An examination of the American League roster indicates that, in retrospect, Jeter was the greatest player on the team.
All Jeter did was go 3-for-3, drive in a pair of runs, score a run and become the first Yankee to be voted the MVP of the All-Star game.
He expressed his feelings after the game.
Right now, I'm very happy, obviously. But I think in due time, when I sit down and get a chance to reflect on it, then you realize how special it is. And I wasn't aware that no other Yankee had won this award, and it's kind of hard to believe.
Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly, Rickey Henderson, Paul O'Neill and Mariano Rivera have never been the All-Star Game MVP as Yankees.
In the World Series against their friends from Flushing, the New York Mets, Jeter won the MVP award. It was a World Series that the Yankees had to win for reasons that should be obvious, and they wouldn't have won without Jeter.
The Yankees led the series, 2-1. In the pivotal fourth game, leading off the game against Bobby Jones, Jeter hit a home run. The Yankees held on for a 3-2 win.
In Game 5, with the Yankees trailing Al Leiter, 2-1, Jeter led off the sixth inning with a home run to tie the game. Sometimes, it isn't how many home runs a batter hits. It's the importance of the home runs. The Yankees repeated as world champions that night.
In the Series, Jeter had nine hits in 22 at-bats, including two doubles, a triple and two homers.
This is by far the best team we've played. All the games could've gone either way.
Every year is a different story, but I'd be lying if I said this wasn't more gratifying. Oakland was the hottest team when we played 'em, Seattle was tough, and the Mets were the best team I've seen in five years.
Derek Jeter has never won the regular-season MVP award. The best he finished was second in 2006 and third in both 1998 and 2009.
To Jeter, it doesn't matter. He was MVP in the most important games that his team ever played.