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Wed, 06.26.1974

Derek Jeter, Baseball Player, and Executive born

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter was born on this date in 1974. He was a Black professional baseball player and is now an MLB administrator.

Derek Sanderson Jeter was born in Pequannock, New Jersey.  His father, Dr. Anderson Charles Jeter a substance abuse counselor, is Black; his mother, Dorothy, is white and of Irish/German descent.  Jeter’s parents met while serving in the United States Army in Germany. His father played baseball at Fisk University in Tennessee.

Jeter has one sister, Sharlee, who is five years younger and was a softball star in high school. The family lived in North Arlington, New Jersey, before moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan, when he was four. As a child,  he and his sister would spend summers with their grandparents in New Jersey, who took them to Yankees games, making him a passionate team fan.  Jeter was inspired to play baseball by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.

In high school, Jeter was a star baseball player at Kalamazoo Central High School, where he also played basketball, earning an honorable All-State mention. Years later, in 2003, Jeter was inducted into the Kalamazoo Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame.  In high school, Jeter had batting averages of .557 as a sophomore and .508 as a junior.  As a senior, he batted .508; had 23 runs batted in, 21 walks, four home runs, and 12 stolen bases (in 12 attempts); and struck out only once.  Jeter collected many awards at season's end, including the Kalamazoo Area B'nai B'rith Award for Scholar-Athlete, the 1992 High School Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, the 1992 Gatorade High School Player of the Year award, and USA Today's High School Player of the Year.

The New York Yankees, with the sixth overall pick, drafted Jeter, and he chose to turn professional. He debuted in the Major Leagues in 1995, and the following year he won the Rookie of the Year Award and helped the Yankees win the 1996 World Series. Jeter was also a member of championship-winning teams in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009.  In 2000, Jeter became the only player in history to win the All-Star Game MVP Award and the World Series MVP Award in the same year. He was selected as an All-Star eleven times and won the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards four times.  He is regarded as a consummate professional by teammates and opponents alike and has a reputation as a reliable contributor in the postseason.

Jeter is considered to be one of the best players of his generation. He is the all-time hits leader among shortstops, and his .317 career batting average through the 2009 season ranks as the fifth-highest among active players.  He was among the American League (AL) leaders in hits and runs scored for over ten years. He is the all-time Yankees hit leader, passing Hall of Fame member Lou Gehrig in 2009. Jeter maintains an apartment in Manhattan's Trump World Tower and homes in Marlboro, New Jersey, Greenwood Lake, New York, and the Davis Islands neighborhood of Tampa, Florida.

Jeter's personal life has been a frequent topic in gossip columns and celebrity magazines since his rookie year in 1996.  In 2002, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner criticized Jeter for staying out until 3 a.m. at a birthday party during the 2002 season, saying that his star shortstop "wasn't totally focused" and that "it didn't sit well" with him.  In 2003, the two appeared in a VISA commercial together where they went club-hopping, mocking the incident in a fashion similar to how Steinbrenner and former Yankees manager Billy Martin had mocked their feud in a Miller Lite commercial during the 1970s.  Jeter is a close personal friend of former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada and served as best man at Posada's wedding.

He began his Turn 2 Foundation, a charity organization, in 1996. The Foundation was established to help children and teenagers avoid drug and alcohol addiction and reward those with high academic achievement. The organization's name derives from the baseball double play (where "turning two" refers to making two outs on one play) and indicates the goal of the Foundation to give youths a place to "turn to" instead of drugs and alcohol. During the 2009 season, Jeter and Mets star David Wright represented their foundations in a competition sponsored by Delta Air Lines; the player with the highest batting average received $100,000 for their foundation from Delta, while the runner-up's foundation received $50,000. Jeter is also involved in Weplay, a website encouraging children to participate in sports.

Jeter has appeared in national ad campaigns for Nike, Gatorade, Fleet Bank, Discover Card, Florsheim, VISA (with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner), Skippy, Ford, and XM Satellite Radio. He endorses a Driven cologne designed in collaboration with and distributed by Avon. Jeter is one of only three athletes to have their own Jumpman shoe and has replaced Thierry Henry in the American market for Gillette Fusion commercials along with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. In 2006, Jeter was the second-highest-paid endorser in baseball, having earned $7 million in endorsements. Also, he was ranked as the most marketable player in baseball according to the 2005 and 2010 Sports Business Surveys.

He has appeared on television in Seinfeld and as a host on Saturday Night Live and appeared in the comedy film The Other Guys; his likeness was seen briefly on The Simpsons during the eighth episode of season 19, titled "Funeral for a Fiend," in which he was parodied as a guest-starring on Sesame Street. Jeter was the subject of a 2005 segment on the TV news magazine 60 Minutes. There is a wax figure of Derek Jeter at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in New York. Derek Jeter retired from baseball in 2014.  He has since purchased the Miami Marlins.

In 2020, Jeter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its class of 2020 in his first year of eligibility, only one vote shy of being the second unanimous selection in Hall of Fame history.  His 99.7% of the vote was second only to Mariano Rivera (100%) and ahead of Ken Griffey (99.3%) in the history of Hall of Fame voting.  He was formally enshrined in a September 8, 2021, Cooperstown, New York ceremony.

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