Jeter is all about winning
Sunday night’s victory, one of the biggest of the season for the Yankees, provided Derek Jeter yet another milestone in his remarkable career. The captain was hitless in four at-bats as his season-high, 14-game hitting streak came to an end.
But when Brett Gardner touched the plate on the bases-loaded walk to Juan Miranda in the 10th inning to give the Yankees a 4-3 decision over the Red Sox, Jeter became the winningest player in the history of the winningest team in baseball.
Jeter, who already has the distinction of having the most hits for a player in a Yankees uniform, the most hits of any player at the old Yankee Stadium and the most hits of a player on any of the New York City teams, has been on the winning side of 1,377 games with the Yankees. That broke the tie he had shared with Mickey Mantle, who went to the World Series in 12 of his 18 seasons with the Yankees.
In 1968, his final season in the majors, Mantle broke the previous mark of 1,323 winning games with the Yankees by Lou Gehrig, who had held the record for nearly 30 years. The Mick ended up holding it for almost 42 years.
I did a lengthy interview in 1982 with Mantle, who told me that he considered his greatest achievement was playing in more games than anyone in Yankees history: 2,401. Monday night’s game at Toronto was Jeter’s 2,291st. There is an excellent chance that he will overtake Mickey in that category sometime next season.