“Now batting for the New York Yankees, the short stop, Number 2, Derek Jeter, Number 2.” The mellifluous voice of Bob Sheppard, the deceased NY Yankee public address announcer, became synonymous with Yankee Greats; most recently with Yankee Captain, Derek Jeter, during his twenty year major league career, which commenced in 1995.
On Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017, Derek Jeter was bestowed the honor of having his uniform #2, retired at a respectful tribute at “the house that Ruth built,” Yankee Stadium.
Single digit numbers are no longer available for aspiring Yankee ballplayers. The uniform number retirement began with Lou Gehrig’s, #4, and followed with Ruth, #3, DiMaggio #5 and Mantle, #7. Subsequent single digit number retirements included Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey, #8, Roger Maris, #9, Billy Martin, #1 and Joe Torre, #6. With the exception of the latter three, all of the other Yankee Greats have been enshrined in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Cooperstown awaits Derek Jeter, a certain first ballot entrant.
Lifetime figures for Jeter include:
Despite these prodigious achievements, many baseball experts will be more inclined to point out the on the diamond baseball savvy of the most recent Yankee great, Derek Jeter; intangibles which Yankee fans had the privilege to witness over two decades, yet remain difficult to quantify for the Sabermetricians and fantasy sports world player.
I wonder if prior to his Cooperstown acceptance speech the voice of Bob Sheppard will be heard. “Now entering the Hall of Fame, Yankee short stop, Number 2, Derek Jeter, Number 2.”