Yankees' Derek Jeter Elected To Hall of Fame

Shortstop Will Be Inducted With Larry Walker On July 26

Alec Gearty
January 21, 2020 - 6:17 pm
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The Captain, Mr. November, Hall of Famer.

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For 20 years, Derek Jeter called the Bronx home. It’s where he witnessed his 3,000 hit sail into the left-field seating and where he culminated his illustrious career with five World Series championships. Alongside Rockies outfielder Larry Walker, Jeter, one of the most decorated players to ever wear the pinstripes, will take his rightful place in Cooperstown, N.Y..

Jeter received 99.7 percent of the votes, appearing on 396-of-397 ballots, as the Baseball Writers' Association of America elected the longtime Yankees shortstop into the Baseball Hall of Fame Tuesday afternoon. 

"This is something that I think when you start off your career, you're never thinking about the Hall of Fame," Jeter told MLB Network. "This is the highest honor that could be given to any individual that plays this game. I was speechless when I got the call. Everyone said anticipate a phone call coming at such and such time, but quite frankly I was pretty nervous. When I got (the call), I didn't know what to say."

The Kalamazoo, Mich. native was widely regarded as a bona-fide lock to enter the Hall of Fame in 2020, his first year of eligibility. According to Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame tracker, Jeter maintained 100 percent of votes through 219 ballots. He ultimately fell one vote shy of a unanimous election.

He’s the second member of New York’s iconic “Core Four” to receive the Hall of Fame distinction. In 2019, closer Mariano Rivera appeared on 425 total ballots and became the first player to be elected unanimously. Rivera, after spending his entire Hall of Fame career with Jeter, was the 45-year-old’s most prominent advocate in the build up to Tuesday’s announcement.

“If it was me, it would be 1,000 percent,” Rivera told the New York Post in December. “Forget about 100 percent. I played with Derek for so many years, and seeing him day in and day out, and seeing the way he played the game and respected the game, I don’t see why not. Obviously I don’t vote, but I don’t see why not.”

Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees holds up the trophy as he celebrates Game Six of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

As the announcement drew near, Jeter, a 14-time All Star, remained superstitious of a potential Hall of Fame nod. 

"I'm one that — I don't like to jinx anything," Jeter said. "So I never liked to talk about it. I tried not to pay attention to the news. Everyone is saying it's a foregone conclusion, like you said, but I never looked at it that way because this is something that's very difficult. You're talking about one percent of players that have ever played this game getting to the Hall of Fame. It's very humbling."

With his charisma and leadership, Jeter inspired an entire generation of baseball players since his MLB debut. Angels outfielder Mike Trout and former MLB shortstop Troy Tulowitzki are just two of the many baseball stars to idolize Jeter growing up.

Trout requested an autograph from the Yankee legend in the middle of a game; while Tulowitzki paid homage to Jeter, wearing No. 2 for the majority of his career.

Following his retirement in 2014, Jeter became the Yankees’ all-time leader in games played (2,747), hits (3,465), at bats (11,195). He also slashed .310 and tallied 1,311 RBIs.

When Jeter is officially inducted on July 26, he'll become the 24th player to enter the Hall as a Yankee.

The Modern Era Baseball Committee elected catcher Ted Simmons, who spent 12 years with the St. Louis Cardinals, and former MLBPA executive director Marvin Miller to the Hall of Fame in November. Larry Walker capitalized on his final year on the ballot, receiving 76.6 percent of votes. 

Walker, whose career spanned across 17 years, played for the Rockies, Cardinals and Expos. He's the second Canadian to be elected to the Hall of Fame. 

"One of those names that goes along with the greats of any sports that you say a name and you're talking about one of the best ever," Walker said of Jeter, via MLB Network. "I was thinking about it, as great as Derek is I'm going to be like — you know those old 45s we used to listen to and they had the song on the A-side and the song on the B-side, you really didn't know about — I'm the B-side."

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