Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera will always be faces of the last great dynasty

0
70

Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter now have the largest share of votes in the history of the Hall of Fame.

Rivera received 100 percent of the vote last year, and Jeter disagreed on Tuesday when the results were revealed. Since we love pitchforks and torches as much as ever, there was an immediate social media group that let go to find the person who didn't vote for Jeter.

Let us remember that a voter represents 0.0025 of the 397 votes cast. And it obscures the fact that it's the same Hall of Fame, whether you got six votes in your tenth and last year as Larry Walker did, or got 99.7 percent of the vote in your first year like Jeter did.

If anything, let's use the large parts of the votes that Rivera and Jeter received to commemorate the last baseball dynasty whose faces they are – the 1996-2000 Yankees. No team has won fewer than three titles in a row since the 1998-2000 Yankees, no club has won four out of five, no team has performed in five out of six world championships like the 1996-2001 Yankees. The 2010-14 Giants won three in five years, but were not considered the "Force of Nature Juggernaut" of these Yankee teams because they missed the 2011 and 13 playoffs and never won more than 94 games in this run.

World Series MVP Derek Jeter holds up four fingers to show his four World Series victories in his first five years of his major league career after the Yankees defeated the Mets 4-2 and won the 2000 Word Series in five games ,
World Series MVP Derek Jeter holds up four fingers to show his four World Series victories in his first five years of his major league career after the Yankees defeated the Mets 4-2 and won the 2000 Word Series in five games ,Reuters

Ahead of the elections this year, attempts were made to downgrade Jeter's career in several quarters. A common complaint was that he was lucky enough to be a Yankee. Really, it was the other way around.

This was not Luis Sojo's blessing for the ride. Jeter was a great, durable, reliable and obsessed player. It was one of the reasons why the Yankees played in all of these playoff games. And there are now a lot of people who have logged a lot of off-season. Did you name plays after you? How about two like "The Flip" or "Mr. November?"

Jeter was both himself and a historical figure in the postseason. He played one season in the playoffs – 158 games – and was as consistently excellent at that time of year (.308 average / .838 OPS) as he was during the almost two decades he was an unwavering force for the Yankees. That was against the best competition in the most stressful time.

He wasn't a good player like Hank Aaron or Willie Mays or Ted Williams. And, of course, this trio and many others should have been voted unanimously in their time and should not have been deprived of this distinction by a group of misguided voters who believed 100 percent of blasphemy against previous stars who had never received this sum.

But it's okay that Jeter has now grabbed Ken Griffey Jr. (99.3 percent) to get the highest percentage a position player has ever received. And it will be some time before a qualified player approaches 99.7 percent, maybe Ichiro Suzuki in five years, and if not, maybe only if a currently active player like Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout or Justin Verlander takes five years is removed from his career.

Jorge Posada picks up a copy of the New York Post after the Yankees defeated the Mets to win the World Series in 2000.
Jorge Posada picks up a copy of the New York Post after the Yankees defeated the Mets to win the World Series in 2000.New York Post

It's okay because Jeter not only represented the Yankees of his time, but really the whole sport. He wasn't the best. Still, he had a property – magnetism or public grace or some other inexplicable entity – that increased his popularity to a level that would surely cover the hall's fame. And then some.

He was respected by pretty much everyone and worshiped by many of his contemporaries. A generation of children grew up wanting to wear number 2 and jump jump out of the shortstop hole. He was the most popular single hitter since Pete Rose – with no personal flaw. And he trusted the Yankees. That also connects Rivera and Jeter. Her talent was obvious. But they were also the most confident players I've ever seen. This belief filled a clubhouse and united the early Joe Torre teams that no challenge was too big.

It helped the Yankees win their first title in 18 years in 1996 and three in a row from 1998 to 2000 and made it to World Series Game 7 in 2001, when the key elements of this roster went beyond their expiration dates and muscle memory and muscles claimed addiction to winning.

This was the cornerstone for Rivera getting 100 percent of the Hall of Fame votes and Jeter all but 0.0025. They are now linked as before. They define personal size and will forever be the cornerstone of the last great baseball dynasty.

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/yankees-dynasty.jpg?quality=90&strip=all