In terms of popularity, Derek Jeter was the Michael Jordan of baseball during his era. Early in his career, Jeter signed with the noted collectibles company Steiner Sports, which provided authentic Jeter autographs to the hobby. Even though he became popular with fans almost instantaneously, Jeter remained a good signer at the ballpark and very cordial with the public. Since his rise to stardom came so quickly and large numbers of autographs were produced by the legendary Yankee, early signatures such as those signed in high school through his first year at the Major League level, tend to sell for a premium. While some baseball players tend to change the appearance of their autograph over time, sometimes dramatically, Jeter has remained relatively consistent since 1995. Despite the large number of authentic Jeter autographs in the marketplace, he remains one of the most heavily-forged athletes of the modern era.
Derek Sanderson Jeter (June 26, 1974-) is arguably among the top five New York Yankees players of all-time, with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, and holds numerous Yankee records - surpassing those greats with whom he shares elite membership. The Yankees drafted the young high school player with the sixth overall pick of the 1992 MLB June Amateur Draft and he debuted in 1996, replacing All-Star shortstop Tony Fernandez. Derek won the American League Rookie of the Year Award by a unanimous vote after batting .314 with 183 including ten home runs, scoring 104 runs while driving in 78 more and stealing 14 bases as he led the Bronx Bombers to the 1996 World Series title. The 1996 World Series victory was the Yankees first in 18 years and the clutch hitting Jeter made his presence known, earning the team’s unofficial captaincy while New York pursued four more titles (1998-2000, 2009). In the 1990s and 2000s, the Major Leagues produced a glut of elite shortstops such as the Mets’ Rey Ordonez, Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra, Florida’s Edgar Renteria and Seattle’s Alex Rodriguez, who later shifted to third base for the Yankees sharing the left side of the infield with Jeter.
Derek Jeter was a 14-time Major League All-Star, won five American League Gold Gloves at short, won five Silver Slugger Awards, won two Hank Aaron Awards and was the 2009 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award – honoring the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Derek took over as the Yankees team captain in 2003, filling the role last held by fellow fan-favorite Don Mattingly. He is New York’s career stolen base leader and career hit leader, surpassing Lou Gehrig in September of 2009, and scored his 3,000th hit (the only Yankee to reach that plateau) in impressive fashion blasting a home run over the left field wall to became the second player in history to reach 3,000 via the home run (Wade Boggs being the other). The lifetime Yankee (1995-2014) posted a .976 career fielding percentage, turned 1,408 double plays and led the AL in runs once and hits twice 0 the latter of which came 14 years apart (1999, 2012). Jeter was the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award recipient in 2010 and 2011 as the player “who best exhibits the character and integrity of Lou Gehrig both on the field and off it.” In August of 2011, he also became the franchise leader in games played, surpassing Hall of Fame slugger Mickey Mantle. Derek Jeter capped off his Hall of Fame caliber career in 2014 with a final tour of the Major Leagues. Over the course of his 20-year career in pinstripes, Jeter batted .310 with 3,465 hits including 544 doubles and 260 home runs, scored 1,923 runs, stolen 358 bases and drove in 1,311 RBI in 2,747 career Major League games.
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