Today, June 26, 2012, Derek Jeter celebrates his 38th birthday. As one of the greatest, most successful athletes of the modern era, the five-time World Series champion has been a pillar for the New York Yankees for nearly two-decades. Jeter has served as the Bronx Bomber’s brightest star since he won the American League’s Rookie of the Year award at age 22 in 1996. At 38, the 12-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove shortstop and the Yankees’ all-time leader in hits (3,166), continues to thrive on the field while setting the standard for conduct off of it. In the “gotcha” age of TMZ and the info-crazed blogosphere, Jeter has remained the consummate professional athlete while balancing his scandal-free life in the Big Apple.
The Yanks’ captain –and A-list corporate pitchman– has always remained focused on baseball, as evident in his many accolades. Back in April, Number 2 was arguably the most productive hitter in baseball hitting .376/.421/.556 through the Yanks first 31 games. Jeter still leads the American League in hits with 93. Currently, he stands just three hits shy of tying the legendary Cal Ripken Jr. for 13th on the majors’ all-time list with 3,184 hits. With so many stellar performances, it’s hard to rank the triumphs of the first-ballot Hall of Famer’s storybook career. Therefore, as Mr. November observes another milestone in his Life + Times, we have complied some of Captain Clutch’s most memorable plays and awe-inspiring quotes.
“I’d think it would be kind of selfish on my part to be sitting around and thinking about personal goals. My goal is team orientated– and that’s to win. That’s why I play. I’m not thinking about how many hits I have, I’m thinking about how I can help the team win.”