Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter, before any of his 3,300+ MLB hits

As Great Shortstops Week continues here at Papergreat, here's a neat relic concerning New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who is currently in the 20th and final season of his Cooperstown-bound baseball career.

Shown above is Jeter's page in the Yankees 1994 Information Guide, a publication intended primarily for members of the media.

Look how young he is!

This is back when Jeter was a non-roster player attending the Yankees' spring training as a teenager. He was issued the nonglamorous uniform number of 70.

While he was a highly regarded prospect who was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 1992 amateur draft, Jeter had yet to prove anything. (Being selected in the first round is no guarantee of success, especially in professional baseball. The previous two shortstops taken by the Yankees in the first round had been Dennis Sherrill and Rex Hudler. Sherrill finished with a grand total of five major-league at-bats. Hudler had a solid career as a utilityman, but never blossomed into a star and only played in the Bronx for parts of two seasons.)

Jeter has done a little better than those two.

"Captain Clutch" has 3,371 career hits (as of today), has scored 1,894 runs, has compiled a .311 career batting average ... and has five World Series rings.

He has played almost exactly a full regular season of postseason games — 158. In those 158 playoff games, he has 200 hits, 111 runs scored, 20 home runs and a .308 batting average. His postseason OPS is a remarkable .838.

But this was before all of that. After spring training in 1994, he barreled through the minor leagues, spending time at Class A Tampa, Class AA Albany-Colonie and Triple-A Columbus. He batted well above .300 at all three stops.

Jeter made his major-league debut in May 1995, and the rest is history.

Here's another little treat from the Yankees 1994 Information Guide — an advertisement for Starter and Modell's Sporting Goods featuring New York Yankee Don Mattingly...

And, yes, there's an apostrophe missing in that advertisement!

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