Derek Jeter was born in Pequannock, New Jersey to Charles and Dorothy Jeter; however, most of his childhood was spent in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Jeter was a star baseball player at Kalamazoo Central High School, where he also played basketball, and in 1992 he was named High School Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Although he received a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Michigan, he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 1992 amateur draft. He is often considered one of the most "clutch" players in Major League history, although statisticians find this specious. Most likely, it is a result of him joining the Yankees in 1996, during the first of their four World Series victories to close out the millennium.
Jeter made his major league debut on May 29, 1995. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in his first full season, 1996, in which he had a .314 batting average. During the 8th inning of Game 1 of the American League Championship Series that year, Jeter was awarded a home run on a memorable and controversial play. Jeter hit a pitch to the right field wall that was pulled into the stands by a 12-year-old spectator, thereby depriving Oriole outfielder Tony Tarasco the opportunity of making a play. Despite protests from the Orioles, the home run call was upheld, which allowed the Yankees to tie and eventually win the game in extra innings.
Jeter has maintained his success on the field. During the 1998 season, Jeter batted .324, led the American League with 127 runs, earned his first All-Star appearance, and placed 3rd in the AL MVP voting.
1999 showed more progress, as Jeter reached career highs in batting average, home runs, RBIs and walks, and led the AL in hits with 219. During the 2000 season, he was voted the MVP of the All-Star Game and the World Series.
The 2004 season was quite a rollercoaster for Jeter statistically. Early in the year, he had a mysterious 0-for-27 slump and inexplicably was hitting .198 after the first two months of the season. However, he later recovered and ended the year with 23 home runs and a .292 batting average.
Jeter in the Playoffs
Throughout his career, Jeter has been known as one of the best postseason players in baseball history. Since arriving in the majors in 1996, Jeter has played in the playoffs every year, and was a member of 6 American League Championship teams and 4 World Series Championship teams. Jeter's personal postseason performance has been a major factor in the Yankees' success. As of 2005, Jeter has a career .306 postseason batting average.
Some of Jeter's most memorable moments have come in postseason play. These include the aforementioned eighth inning, game-tying faux home run against Baltimore in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS and his game-winning, tenth-inning home run off Arizona's Byung-Hyun Kim in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, as well as one of the most unique and improbable defensive plays in postseason history: Jeter ranged far out of position to intercept an errant relay throw from the outfield, and flipped it underhanded, shuffle-pass style, to home plate, just in time throw out the Oakland A's Jeremy Giambi and preserve the Yankees 1-0 win in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS.
- Selected by New York Yankees in the 1st round (6th pick overall) of the free-agent draft (June 1, 1992 - signed June 27, 1992).
- Finished 2nd (receiving 12 first-place votes) in the 2006 American League MVP balloting.
- Finished 3rd (receiving 2 first-place votes) in the 1998 American League MVP balloting.
- Finished 6th in the 1999 American League MVP balloting.
- Finished 10th in the 2005 American League MVP balloting.
- Finished 10th in the 2001 American League MVP balloting.
- Finished 10th in the 2000 American League MVP balloting.
- Finished 13th in the 2004 American League MVP balloting.
- Finished 21st in the 2003 American League MVP balloting.
- Finished 24th in the 1997 American League MVP balloting.
All-Star Game Appearances
- Named to the 2006 American League All-Star team.
- Named to the 2004 American League All-Star team.
- Named to the 2002 American League All-Star team.
- Named to the 2001 American League All-Star team.
- Named to the 2000 American League All-Star team, and voted All-Star Game MVP.
- Named to the 1999 American League All-Star team.
- Named to the 1998 American League All-Star team.
- Won the 2006 American League Gold Glove for shortstop
- Won the 2005 American League Gold Glove for shortstop
- Won the 2004 American League Gold Glove for shortstop
- Used the pseudonym "Johnny Drama" when checking into hotels.
- He has his own signature line of sneakers under the Jordan brand, a division of Nike.
- Jeter has appeared in national ad campaigns for Nike, Gatorade, FleetBoston, MasterCard, VISA, Skippy Peanut Butter and XM Satellite Radio, among others.
- Receives a reported $6 million per year in endorsements.
- Voted the 'most marketable player in baseball' in a 2005 Sports Business Journal poll.
- Ranked 38th in Forbes 2005 list of the Top 100 Celebrities
- He is the ex-boyfriend of singer Mariah Carey (1997–1998), former Miss Universe Lara Dutta, actress Jordana Brewster, Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima (with whom he did a commercial), Vanessa Minillo (from late 2003 until early 2006), and most recently, Jessica Biel. He is rumored to have dated actresses Scarlett Johansson, Gabrielle Union, Jessica Alba, and Tyra Banks.
- Rumors also circulated that he was dating supermodel Tyra Banks after the two were spotted sitting next to each other at a New York Knicks game, but it turned out to be a coincidence; Jeter's actual "date" to that game was his father.
- His best friend in baseball is teammate Jorge Posada. Jeter served as best man at Posada's wedding.
- Hit the MLB's first November home run at the 2001 World Series.
- Recorded his 2,000th career hit with an infield single on May 26, 2006 off Kansas City Royals pitcher Scott Elarton, becoming the eighth Yankee to reach the milestone.
- In 2006, Jeter made $7 million in endorsements.
- Is the cover athlete for Take Two's MLB 2K5, MLB 2K6, and MLB 2K7. Jeter was also the cover athlete for Acclaim Entertainment's All-Star Baseball series of video games.
- Appeared on "The Abstinence", an episode of the television series Seinfeld along with teammate Bernie Williams.
- Hosted Saturday Night Live in 2001 and dressed up as a woman in one skit with former Yankees David Cone, and David Wells. He played Alfonso Soriano's wife, "Candice Soriano", and said in character that "Jeter does not do it for me. He looks like The Rock had sex with a Muppet."
- Was the subject of a 2005 segment on the TV news magazine 60 Minutes.
- Has appeared in national ad campaigns for Nike, Gatorade, Fleet Bank, Discover Card, Florsheim, VISA (with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner), Skippy Peanut Butter, Ford Motors, XM Satellite Radio, and Ford Mustang (in 2006, with Spike Lee).
- Endorses a cologne named Driven designed in collaboration with and distributed by Avon.
- Holds the record for most singles all-time by a Yankee.
- Is Bob Dylan's favorite baseball player.
- It took 10 years for Jeter to hit his first and only Grand Slam and at one point had the most at bats of any active player to not have hit a Grand Slam. His grand slam was hit on June 18, 2005 against the Chicago Cubs.
- He and Mike Piazza are the only players in major league history to hit a World Series home run in both Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium.