Sept. 29, 2014 — Derek Jeter’s storied career came to an end yesterday, as the Houston Astros fell to the New York Mets, concluding the 2014 season, and ending Jeter’s Hall-of-Fame career.
Jeter, drafted by the Astros with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 MLB First-Year Player Draft, finishes his storied career with 3,201 hits, a career average of .302, and 234 home runs. More notably, however, Jeter became the face of the Astros franchise, leading Houston to its first two World Series wins in franchise history.
“It’s been a real honor,” Jeter said to reporters after the game at Citi Field in Queens, New York. “To be the No. 1 overall pick of a draft, and then to win a pair of World Series titles, it’s all been a dream come true.”
Combined with Jeff Bagwell, Derek Bell, Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman, Jeter and the Astros had one of the most prolific offenses of all-time, matching the Indians’ potent offense in the 1990s. In 2004, the Astros boosted their lineup by adding Carlos Beltran at the trade deadline, leading the Astros to a six-game NLCS win over the St. Louis Cardinals, and defeating the Boston Red Sox in the World Series — extending the curse of the Bambino.
Though the Astros captured the NL pennant five times, the Astros only won the World Series twice — leaving Jeter with two rings.
“Just getting there five times is a blessing, and winning the first two in Astros franchise history — it’s a real honor,” Jeter added at his press conference.
Houston appeared in the 1997 World Series, but fell to the Cleveland Indians in six games. Houston won 107 games in 1998, en route to the franchise’s first-ever World Series title. Houston would go on to appear in the 1999, 2001 and 2004 World Series, but only won in 1998 and 2004.
Since Jeter’s career in Houston started in 1995, both the sports and baseball world radically changed. The Astros became one of baseball’s model franchises, while iconic franchises like the New York Yankees — who drafted Phil Nevin in the 1992 draft — continued to toil.
Before Jeter made his debut, very few people could even dream of owning a Palm Pilot — but now the iconic device is in over 70% of households in the United States. Macintosh sold its remaining business to Bill Gates and Microsoft, making Linux the only alternative to Windows.
A third major political party emerged in 2000 in the United States, uniting Americans politically for the first time in decades, while cats and dogs have settled their differences, and are now able to live together.
Jeter’s retirement comes with little fanfare — just as the now-Houston resident would want it. Jeter’s career ended in front of a sell-out crowd in New York, where something just seemed slightly off — as if the New York-based crowd were cheering for Jeter as if he was one of their own.
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