Derek Jeter is the newest Yankee headed to Cooperstown as the former captain was selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday night.
Jeter came just one vote shy of becoming the second player in history to gain enshrinement with a unanimous decision, gaining 396 of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s 397 votes.
His former Yankees teammate, closer Mariano Rivera, remains the only unanimous Hall-of-Fame selection.
It was never a question if Jeter would get the call to the Hall in his first year of eligibility given his expansive and successful resume.
Jeter ranks sixth on Major League Baseball’s all-time hit list with 3,465, trailing only Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, and Tris Speaker. Four of those five are Hall of Famers with Rose being the lone exception after he was given a lifetime ban in 1989 for betting on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
The Yankees’ all-time hit leader is also one of the storied franchise’s most successful products after being drafted sixth overall in the 1992 MLB Draft out of Central HS in Kalamazoo, MI.
Over his 20-year career, Jeter was selected to 14 All-Star Games, won the 2000 All-Star Game MVP in Atlanta, and took home five Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards.
Above all Jeter is one of the most successful postseason performers in MLB history, helping the Yankees to five World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009.
He still holds MLB postseason records for hits (200), total bases (302), doubles (32) and triples (5). He also ranks third in home runs (20), fourth in RBI (61), and sixth in stolen bases (18).
While he had memorable postseason moments like the Jeffrey Maier-fueled home run in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS or the game-winning home run in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, Jeter’s masterstroke came in the 2000 World Series against the crosstown-rival Mets when he slashed .409/.480/.864 with two home runs to win the Fall Classic MVP Award.
All the while, he made connections to mundane verbs such as “The Flip” and “The Dive”.
As Jeter breezed past the 75-percent voting threshold that unlocks the doors of the Hall to baseball’s best, 30 of the 31 candidates did not fare nearly as well.
Larry Walker, who was one of the best pure hitters in the game during the late 1990s and early 2000s, joins Jeter in Cooperstown in his 10th and final year of eligibility, getting in by six votes.
In 17 seasons with the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals, Walker slashed .313/.400/.565 with 2,160 hits and 383 home runs.
From 1997-2001 with the Rockies, Walker hit .350 or better four times, led the National League in batting average three times and on-base percentage twice.
That included a National League MVP Award in 1997 when he batted .366 with 49 home runs and 130 RBI.
Noted PED users, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, also fell short in their eighth years of eligibility.
Bonds, the home-run king with 762 career round-trippers and Clemens, who spent six seasons with the Yankees and ranks ninth with 354 wins and third with 4,672 strikeouts, broke the 60-percent plateau of the vote.
Former Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox ace pitcher Curt Schilling also fell just short with 70-percent of the vote in his eighth year of eligibility.