Derek Jeter 1992 USA Today’s High School Player Of The Year, Jeter was born in Pequannock Township, New Jersey, on June 26, 1974. His father, Sanderson Charles Jeter, Ph.D., a substance abuse counselor, is African American; his mother, Dorothy, an accountant, is of Irish and German descent. They met while serving in the United States Army in Germany. As a child, Jeter’s parents made him sign a contract every year that set acceptable and unacceptable forms of behavior. Dorothy instilled a positive attitude in her son, insisting that he not use the word “can’t”. Jeter’s sister Sharlee, who is five years younger, was a softball star in high school, while his father played baseball at Fisk University in Tennessee at the shortstop position.
The Jeters lived in New Jersey until Derek was four years old, at which point they moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Jeter and Sharlee lived in Kalamazoo with their parents during the school year and spent their summers with their grandparents in New Jersey. Attending New York Yankees games with his grandparents, Jeter became a passionate fan of the team. Watching Yankees player Dave Winfield inspired him to pursue a career in baseball.
Jeter attended Kalamazoo Central High School, where he played baseball and basketball. Jeter posted high batting averages for the school’s baseball team; he batted .557 in his sophomore year and .508 average as a junior. In his senior year, he batted .508 and compiled 23 runs batted in (RBI), 21 walks, four home runs, a .637 on-base percentage (OBP), a .831 slugging percentage (SLG), 12 stolen bases (in 12 attempts), and only one strikeout.
Jeter received several honors after his senior season. These included an All-State honorable mention, distinguishing him as one of the best high school baseball players in Michigan, the Kalamazoo Area B’nai B’rith Award for Scholar Athlete, the 1992 High School Player of the Year Award from 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. Kalamazoo Central High School inducted Jeter into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003 and renamed its baseball field in his honor in 2011. Jeter’s baseball talents drew the attention of the University of Michigan, which offered him a baseball scholarship to attend and play college baseball for the Michigan Wolverines baseball team.
The Yankees drafted Jeter out of high school in 1992, and he debuted in the major leagues in 1995. The following year, he became the Yankees’ starting shortstop, won the Rookie of the Year Award, and helped the team win the 1996 World Series. Jeter continued to contribute during the team’s championship seasons of 1998-2000; he finished third in voting for the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in 1998, recorded multiple career-high numbers in 1999, and won both the All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP Awards in 2000. He has consistently placed among the AL leaders in hits and runs scored for the past ten years, and since 2003 has served as the Yankees’ team captain. Throughout his career, Jeter has contributed reliably to the Yankees’ franchise successes. He holds many postseason records, and has a .351 batting average in the World Series. Jeter has earned the titles of “Captain Clutch” and “Mr. November” due to his postseason heroics.
Jeter has been one of the most heavily marketed athletes of his generation and is involved in several product endorsements. His personal life and relationships with celebrities have drawn the attention of the media throughout his career. Teammates and opponents alike regard Jeter as a consummate professional and one of the best players of his generation. Sportswriters anticipate that Jeter will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame following his playing career.