CINCINNATI, OHIO — On this date in 2003, Derek Jeter was named captain of the New York Yankees. The announcement by owner George M. Steinbrenner III in Cincinnati made the Yankee shortstop the eleventh team captain in franchise history.
The appointment of Jeter as team captain marked the first time a player had held the designation since the retirement of first baseman Don Mattingly, following the 1995 season.
The choice seemed obvious from the outset of Jeter’s rookie campaign in 1996. His cool, calm, almost stoic demeanor and leadership example essentially had him groomed for the position.
Yet, it wasn’t all that clear cut in the offseason with Jeter being criticized by Steinbrenner for staying out too late and not focusing, which not surprisingly angered Jeter. It also led to an ad goofing on their feud after they resolved their differences.
The 28-year-old shortstop already had four World Series titles, a World Series MVP, All-Star Game MVP and AL Rookie of the Year Award under his belt at that point.
As captain, Jeter led the Yankees to two more AL pennants and another World Series title in 2009. He would hold that title through the end of his playing career in 2014.