9 months ago
On Mother’s Day, the New York Yankees retired Derek Jeter’s #2 uniform number.
The retired shortstop joins:
#1 Billy Martin
#3 Babe Ruth
#4 Lou Gehrig
#5 Joe DiMaggio
#6 Joe Torre
#7 Mickey Mantle
#8 Yogi Berra
#8 Bill Dickey (Yes, this number was so nice they retired it twice.)
#9 Roger Maris
The most obscure of these figures is Bill Dickey, but he deserves his place on the list. Retired in 1946, this Hall of Fame catcher won seven World Series. The others have all carved out big chunks of baseball history, to the point their names remain instantly recognizable decades after they last stepped on a diamond.
Perhaps the greatest praise of Jeter is that he fully deserves a place next to Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio. Jeter has more hits than any other Yankee. (He is the franchise career leader, as well as the first Yankee to top 3,000 hits.) Jeter is also the franchise leader in games played, at bats, doubles, and stolen bases. He is second in runs as well, his 1,923 trailing only Ruth, who has the mark at 1,959 (and 2,174 for his entire career).
Oddly, one of the few categories where Jeter fares poorly when compared to the other single-digit Yankees is in World Series titles. Which is not to say the Captain’s five championships aren’t inspiring, but he finishes behind Berra (10), DiMaggio (nine), Dickey (seven), Mantle (seven), Gehrig (six), and is tied with Martin (five counting both his playing and managing days). Plus while Ruth won only four World Series with the Yankees, that total surges to seven if you include his Red Sox days. (Of course, this is something real Yankee fans would never do.)
Add it all up and it’s clear that Jeter is a first-ballot Hall of Famer who deserves his place in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park, not to mention the Yankees have had a pretty solid last 100 years.