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Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Friday, February 14, 2014
If one had to synthesize most of the recent Jeter coverage under one headline, it would be: Is Derek Jeter a True Hall of Famer or Is He Overrated?
Let’s deal with the first question. There isn’t any doubt that he is going to get into the Hall of Fame. Only nine players in the history of baseball have more hits than Jeter. He’s a 13-time All-Star with five World Series rings. And he’s tremendously popular. If you put down a deposit on a hotel room in Cooperstown for July 2020, it’s good as gold.
Those who have cast doubts about his HOF worthiness have always stressed the lack of bold numbers on his statistics page on BaseballReference.com. In other words, he never led the league in many offensive categories. This is true. He only led the league in runs scored in 1998 and in hits in 1999 and 2012, and HOFers have usually topped the list in more stats than that.
He was never quite a match for the top superstars of his era. Or as Ted Berg put it in USA Today (in a piece titled “Derek Jeter is the most fervently overrated shoo-in for the Hall of Fame”), “In terms of overall value to his teams, Jeter just doesn’t stack up to recent historic greats like Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds, and can’t quite match great contemporaries like Chipper Jones and Jeff Bagwell either.”
This is also true, but not to the point.
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