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In Honor of Jeter Week Let's Pick The Best Derek Jeter Moment of All Time

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As we gear up for Derek Jeter’s number to be retired and his monument plaque to be revealed at the stadium Sunday Night, MLB has come out with this bracket to pick the best Jeter moment of all time. It’s crazy there are so many moments in that man’s career that I’ll be able to tell my kids I saw. Right now the fans have narrowed it down to the final eight so let’s pick a winner…

Quarterfinals

Mr. November

vs.

Playoff Catch Against The A’s In The Stands

I actually think this Jeter catch doesn’t get enough recognition as it does. In the deciding Game 5 of the 2001 ALDS Terrance Long his a pop fly into short left field, near foul territory. With the Yanks nursing a two run lead in the 8th inning and the tying run on base Jeter sprinted to the third base side of the stands, reached over and iconically fell into the stands. Now contrary to his “dive” against the Red Sox, which many constantly bring up, this was the better and more important catch. Now, let’s not get carried away here, Jeter becoming Mr. November takes the cake here. Zero argument, but if we’re debating better catches then I’m going 01′ ALDS over the Red Sox regular season catch.

The Pick: Mr. November

The Dive Against The Sox

vs.

The Final Walk Off

Well, if you couldn’t tell my thoughts on “The Dive” from the previous paragraph, the dive is not in there as iconic moments in Jeter history. It just isn’t plain and simple. Jeter caught that ball almost in fair territory and couldn’t stop in time to brace himself and prevent a seat landing? Sorry, but no chance. I’ve discussed in length about the night of his final walk off and it will be something I never forget. This is another lopsided matchup.

The Pick: The Final Walk Off

The Flip

vs.

The Stadium Speech

The captain’s farewell speech to the old stadium was incredible. There was no better person to give that speech and he delivered it perfectly, but that fucking flip was absolutely mind boggling. I still cannot explain how or why Derek was there at that moment but thank God he was to flip an errant throw to Posada to nail Jeremy Giambi at home. Apparently this was something Jeter would do in practice for exact instances like this, but it’s still beyond incredible even to this day.

The Pick: The Flip

Mr. 3000

vs.

Leadoff Homer In World Series

A leadoff homer in the World Series is ridiculous and for most guys it would be their number one play of their lives, but not when it’s up against Jeter’s 3,000th. The man, the myth, the legend, of course Derek Jeter hit a home run against David Price for his 3,000th hit, of course he did. Anything this guy did had a flair for the dramatic. As if he needed anything else to cement his legacy. Fuck you David Price.

The Pick: Mr. 3000

Semi Finals

The Final Walk Off vs. Mr. November

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Some would argue this should the finals, but there’s a clear winner here. That homer in the 10th inning of Game 4 of the 2000 World Series uplifted a city. Maybe it was just for one night, but it was enough for New York City to take their collective minds off of post 9/11 for at least a little bit. For maybe the only time ever, the whole country (minus Arizona Dback fans) were Yankee fans. It’s really tough to top hitting a walk off in your final at bat at Yankee Stadium, but the captain did that here.

 The Pick: Mr. November

The Flip vs. Mr. 3000

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Honestly, this is a pretty even match up here in the second semifinal. On one hand, we have an outrageous, unexpected, from the parking lot type play where Derek read an overthrow from right field to the cut off man and became his own cutoff man. From reading the overthrow, to finding Posada while sprinting the opposite direction, to making a perfectly timed flip to nail Giambi, this play was out of this world. It was a play we’ve never seen out of the shortstop position before. Never. Now, let’s change gears to Mr. 3000. There were only two ways Jeter was going to get this hit, either an inside out opposite field single to right, or a home run. When he drilled the homer and was rounding second base you can see the camera pan to Johnny Damon in the Rays dugout who couldn’t do anything but smirk. Rivera claimed at the time that this was his #1 moment for Jeter. It was a true storybook type event that if you wrote this script and handed it to someone they would’ve laughed in your face and tore it up. Lost in all of this was that Jeter went 5 for 5 in the game, coming into it the game needing two hits to reach the milestone. I’m going to go with #3000 here, but it’s honestly so, so close.

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The Pick: Mr 3000

The Finals

Mr. November vs. Mr. 3000

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Impossible decision. You can make a great case for either moment and be 100% right if that makes any sense. Sometimes when you’re sitting on 2,999 hits a player will tighten up a bit and press. It happens, and it’s understandable. Not to Derek Jeter. Right after getting to 2,999 in the first inning Jeter answered the bell immediately with a bomb off a hanging slider from Price. Whether you were listening in the car (one of my top regrettable moments in my lifetime), watching at home, or in person at the stadium you’re jaw dropped to the floor. You turned to the person next to you to see if you were caught day dreaming. It didn’t feel real. That being said, hitting a walk off homer in the World Series, at the time he did, gets topped by absolutely nothing in my opinion. I was seven years old at the time and was just getting into baseball. Derek Jeter becoming Mr. November helped me fall in love with baseball while also uplifting the spirits of many suffering after 9/11.

The Champ: Mr. November

Follow me on Twitter @ehubbs13 for everything Yankees including an emotional Hubbs on Sunday night.