Derek Jeter has a sophisticated relationship with the phrase “overrated.”
Nicely, Jeter himself doesn’t. His legacy certain does, although. And it doesn’t matter what you consider Jeter, you’re conscious of his attachment to that phrase.
For those who consult with him solely as The Captain and personal a number of items of clothes with the phrase RE2PECT, any whisper of that four-syllable smear sends you right into a diatribe about championships and the phrase “class.”
MORE: 2021 AL, NL Rookie of the 12 months races are broad open
For those who hate the Yankees and hate Jeter — in both order — the mere concept of Jeter’s title showing in the identical sentence as inner-circle Corridor of Famers in all probability makes you get away a chant of that four-syllable anthem, whether or not or not anybody’s round to listen to it.
He’s directly overrated by some, and underrated by others. Each extremes are inaccurate assessments of Jeter’s precise profession, if you happen to separate each the worship and fury and take a look at what he completed in his 20 years within the bigs.
So let’s have a look.
We’ll begin with the explanation he’s within the information at this time, his long-awaited Corridor of Fame induction ceremony. He’s a part of the category of 2020 — ballots forged by BBWAA members needed to be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2019 — however the worldwide pandemic meant there was no induction ceremony in 2020. And the 2021 ceremony was initially scheduled for July 25, however that was moved to Sept. 8 to permit for folks to attend, in accordance with state and native tips.
Jeter was elected with 99.7 p.c of the vote. That’s the second-highest share within the historical past of the BBWAA poll. Solely one of many 397 voters submitted a poll sans Jeter.
And this can be a excellent instance of the “overrated” divide.
He have to be overrated as a result of that’s the second-highest vote share of all time, proper? It’s definitely a simple argument to make, straightforward dots to attach: Second-highest share means the BBWAA members — these fawning sportswriters who love big-city New York groups — assume he’s the second-best participant of all-time.
This, after all, is foolish.
Vote percentages will not be a great way to rank gamers. Babe Ruth acquired solely the seventeenth highest vote complete of all time. Ted Williams and Stan Musial are twenty fourth and twenty fifth, respectively. The explanations for the voting variances are quite a few and far too tedious to get into in-depth right here. However belief me. That was by no means meant to be a “rating” and it’s not even remotely an correct illustration.
So why do folks assume Jeter is overrated?
Largely, in all probability, as a result of they received uninterested in listening to him talked about in hushed, reverent tones advert nauseam throughout his prime. And little question, he was on tv quite a bit through the October highlight as a result of his Yankees have been at all times there. The Yankees made the postseason every of his first 12 full seasons within the majors, and his Yankees gained 13 of the primary 14 playoff collection of his profession.
That’s plenty of profitable. And that’s plenty of being aggravated about listening to about all that profitable if you happen to’re not a fan of the Yankees.
Even pre-Jeter, after all, the Yankees have been a reasonably polarizing franchise anyway, with plenty of love and plenty of hate and little or no in-between. And a few of the people who love the Yankees do their greatest to guard their idealized view of their favourite franchise and the gamers they love, attacking any perceived slight. It’s quite a bit like Duke in faculty hoops or the NFL’s ridiculous “defend the defend” mantra.
It’s foolish. It’s an overreaction that begets extra overreaction, a cycle that repeats itself time and again and not using a trace of any ending or decision. It’s baseball’s model of the children music John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. Da-da-da-da-da-da-da.
So how ought to Jeter be correctly rated?
Once more, we’ll begin with at this time. He’s a deserving Corridor of Famer. And he deserved to get all 397 votes (the one voter who left Jeter off the poll by no means revealed their vote, regardless of the BBWAA’s push for all voters to be clear and present their work). And, once more, that’s to not say that he’s higher than different Corridor of Famers as a result of he deserved 100% when Ruth, Williams and Musial (and so many others) didn’t get to that stage. Ruth, Williams and Musial ought to have gotten 100% of the votes, too. Clearly.
Jeter completed with 3,465 hits and a .310 batting common. He hit .308 within the postseason — .321 within the World Sequence — and gained 5 World Sequence titles. He hit 261 dwelling runs, stole 358 bases and had 1,311 RBIs. He was a 14-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger. He gained 5 Gold Glove awards, although in all probability extra on popularity than something, as a result of by any goal measure of his defensive prowess, he was ample/stable at greatest.
The common WAR/WAR7/JAWS line for the 13 Corridor of Fame shortstops (together with Jeter) is 67.8/43.2/.55.5. Jeter checks in at 71.3/42.4/56/8.
He’s, by each single measure, a Corridor of Fame shortstop. He’s not an “internal circle” participant — few are — however he completely belongs in Cooperstown.