This is the time when we usually see him flying around the field making improbable plays to alert the world that he is the very best at what he does during the post season. We see him fly into the third base box seats, crashing his legs into the rail and making that great catch. We see him dashing across the first base line, flipping the ball with his glove hand to the catcher to get the running coming home. He is the Captain. He is the leader.
He is D-E-R-E-K J-E-T-E-R.
In his last game of the year, against the Detroit Tigers, he collected his 200th hit in post season. Do you understand that level of accomplishment? Here are a few facts: 18 seasons with over 3,300 hits. A 13 time All-Star with a lifetime .313 batting average. 16 seasons of post season baseball experience with 200 hits and a .308 BA. 158 post season games started. That’s nearly a season of post season games. His 200 post season hits ranks #1. Only a handful of other players who played in the big leagues have over 70 hits in post season. They are: Bernie Williams (128), Manny Ramirez (117), Chipper Jones (97), Albert Pujols (88), Alex Rodriguez (72) and Johnny Damon (72).
Imagine, while we were watching #2 play, he amassed 200 hits in post season, an astounding amount of hits, 72 more than the next best. When you talk about unbeatable records in baseball, this may be the one they talk about for decades to come. Who knows? Perhaps he will add to it next year.
Now he faces a 4 to 5 month recovery from ankle surgery. Perhaps when the warm weather of spring breaks through from a New York winter, #2 will step out of the dugout on the first base side of Yankee Stadium and jog to his familiar place at shortstop, wearing his pinstripes and that slight smile. When that happens, his place already fixed in Yankee lore will continue to grow and the endearing chants will once again be heard from the loving fans in the stands… D-E-R-E-K J-E-T-E-R.
The Captain will have returned.