The Yankees will retire Derek Jeter's number this weekend. I am 30 years old. Until he retired, every single New York Yankees moment that I experienced as a human being who could remember things involved Derek Jeter. I'm sure that many of you are in the same boat: Derek Jeter was the New York Yankees for two decades. Many of the moments (especially the top five) detailed below are well-known to all of us. Some I'm reliving for the first time in years.
Here are my top 10 Derek Jeter moments:
10. 3000th Hit is a Home Run
9. Jeter's First Grand Slam
8. 2003 ALCS, Jeter Double Begins 3-Run Rally
7. Home Run Ties Game 5, 2000 World Series,
6. Leadoff Home Run vs. the Mets
5. The Dive
At the height of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, Jeter sacrifices his body to catch a foul ball. One of my favorite regular season games ever.
4. Jeffrey Maier Home Run
I love instant replay, but damn I'm happy it wasn't around when Derek Jeter hit this home run. Don't tell me that old Yankee Stadium didn't have ghosts.
3. Mr. November Home Run
The 2001 World Series will go down as the greatest World Series ever. That all started in Game 4. The home run would be crazy without the clock striking midnight and introduction of November baseball, or the emotional impact of the 9/11 attacks that pushed the World Series to November. It still hits me every time I watch the home run.
2. The Flip
The greatest play off all time? I'm saying 'yes'. The 2001 playoffs made me a die hard baseball fan. The Yankees probably don't get to face off against the Diamondbacks in the World Series if Derek Jeter doesn't make the greatest play of all time.
1. The Final Hit at Yankee Stadium
It's amazing that my #1 Derek Jeter moment is probably the least remarkable play on the list. Derek Jeter hit a walk off single in an unimportant game in September against an unimportant team. But damn, I cheered like it was a walk off home run in Game 7 of the World Series. There was always a kind of poetry to Derek Jeter, and he didn't disappoint here.