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Take a look back at Derek Jeter’s first All-Star Game

Jul 10, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

I post this less to wallow in Jeter nostalgia — we got a lot of that these days — than I do to marvel at the fact that Derek Jeter‘s first All-Star Game was in 1998.

If you would have asked me I would’ve bet an awful lot that he was in the Mid-Summer Classic before that. He was Rookie of the Year in 1996 and was a key cog in helping the Yankees win the World Series that year. He was a force in the AL playoffs that year and while his World Series numbers weren’t that good, there was this sense as you watched him that fall that he was Baseball’s Next Big Star.

But the mid-90s were a long time ago, and as we sit here now it’s easy to forget that that’s when a lot of amazing shortstops walked the Earth, especially in the American League. Cal Ripken had a vice-lock on the fan vote. Alex Rodriguez had already posted an amazing couple of seasons. Nomar Garciaparra broke onto the scene in 1997 (and Jeter’s 1997 was a down year for him) There was just so much darn competition at the position then.

So 1998 it was. And here, courtesy of MLB Productions, is what The Captain looked like back then:

 

  1. nolanwiffle - Jul 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    …..not to mention Miguel Tejada in Oakland.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Craig, homage to Beep Beep and it’s only July? Ah, the Blue Network must be satisfied with a few hundred platitudes to corporate Yankeedom. Will the Universe ever thrive after retiring shortstop to a resting home in Monument Park?

  3. doctorofsmuganomics - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    I guessed 1996. I forgot what year he first came up

  4. moogro - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    He spoke differently back then.

    • miguelcairo - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      Not really.

  5. 18thstreet - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    I’m not that shocked. Nomar was better. Jeter surpassed him, but Nomar was better. And A-Rod was better than both of them. (Tejada wasn’t part of the discussion until later.) It was a really stupid debate, but it gave us all a break from wondering whether Ross and Rachel would get back together. Nearly tore the nation apart.

    20 best seasons by AL shortstops between 1996 and 2000.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=y&type=8&season=2000&month=0&season1=1996&ind=1&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

  6. tmc602014 - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Pre MPB

  7. mikhelb - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    It was the time when Jeter suddenly lost a place for the all star (1997) and IIRC, the Indians manager got criticized so bad for selecting his own players that 1998 that MLB decided to change how the bench and bullpen was to be selected since it already had happened the same with Hargrove in 1996.

    A time when bosox fans thought they had the best SS in a Nomar with bloated numbers thanks to Fenway (kinda like so many other players in their history, check the extreme splits on Whaaaaaavid Ortíz, for example).

  8. whatacrocker - Jul 10, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Wow, I didn’t realize the younger Jeter had, like, six inches more range than the current model.

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