Derek Jeter was a singular player and person in baseball history. He deserves to stand alone at the podium as the entire Hall of Fame Class of 2020 on July 26 in Cooperstown.
It’s not just the five World Series championships. It’s not just the 3,465 hits or the .310 lifetime batting average or the 14 All-Star Game selections.
It’s not just the fact that Jeter hit .308 in the postseason with a higher OPS than he had in the regular season (.838 to .817). Jeter raised his game on the biggest stage against the best pitchers at the most important times.
What a flair for the moment he had. A home run and a memorable over-the-shoulder catch on Opening Day as a rookie in 1996. The Jeffrey Maier home run in the 1996 ALCS. The leadoff homer against the Mets in Game 4 of the 2000 Subway Series. The Flip Play in the 2001 ALDS in Oakland. The game-ending Mr. November home run in the 2001 World Series. The dive into the stands against the Red Sox in 2004. The unusual (for him) home run to left-center for his 3,000th…