Remembering Derek Jeter’s iconic flip play

Former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is known as one of the best shortstops of his era, racking up over 3,000 hits and five World Series championships during his 20 seasons in Major League Baseball. Aside from his sparkling baseball resume, Jeter is best known for his flair for the dramatic, shining brightest on the biggest stage. Jeter is remembered as one of the best clutch performers the game has ever seen. Widely regarded by experts and fans alike as one of the greatest plays in baseball history, the "Flip Play" helped secure Jeter's spot in baseball history.
Photo via Lohud Yankees Blog



Only a month removed from the disastrous events of 9/11, the tragedy still weighed heavily on the hearts and minds of every New Yorker. With this talented Yankees squad poised for another deep playoff run, the city looked to their beloved Bombers to help begin the healing process.

October 13th, 2001 was an ordinary day to most, but in the baseball world it will be remembered forever. The Yankees were visiting the Oakland Athletics in game three of the American League Division Series. On the brink of being eliminated from the playoffs, New York took a one to nothing lead in the top of the fifth inning on catcher Jorge Posada's solo home run to left field.  

The Yankees found themselves grasping to their one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning thanks to the stellar pitching of All-Star right hander Mike Mussina. Mussina would go on to walk Oakland designated hitter Jeremy Giambi, who represented the tying run.

With two outs, Oakland left fielder Terrence Long roped a hit into right field that careened off the base of the wall. After being misplayed by right fielder Shane Spencer, Long was able to coast into second base with a double. Spencer then made an errant throw missing two cut off men in an attempt to prevent Giambi from scoring the tying run. Sensing the poor throw, Jeter instinctively sprinted to the first base line to cut off the ball before it made its way to the backstop. Jeter then flipped the ball to catcher Jorge Posada who slapped the tag on Giambi just in time, preventing the tying run from crossing the plate.


This play proved that Jeter possessed an instinct for baseball like none other. His ability to move out of position and make extraordinary plays was unprecedented, and Jeter's defensive ability was admired by the baseball community.  

The Yankees would go on to win the game by a score of 1-0, and would also win the series, advancing to their fifth American League Championship Series (ALCS) in six seasons. They would defeat the Seattle Mariners in the ALCS before ultimately losing the World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks in seven games.

Although Jeter made innumerable exceptional plays throughout what is inevitably a Hall of Fame career, "The Flip" will be remembered as one of the plays that defined Jeter's legacy.

Article by: Matthew Smith

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