Derek Jeter helped lead the New York Yankees to five World Series titles, and his mentality was a big reason why.
Imagine how different baseball history would be if the New York Yankees lost the 2000 World Series to the New York Mets. The Bronx Bombers could’ve very well lost their “dynasty” status considering that was their third consecutive championship while the Mets could’ve claimed supremacy over New York City for the next decade.
That’s why Derek Jeter wouldn’t let it happen. The Captain recently spoke about the Fall Classic 20 years ago and said the Yankees simply “had to win.” If they didn’t? Well, he had a plan.
He was going to move out of the city.
“I moved to Manhattan when I was 21 years old, and I’ve joked about it before, but I really mean it. If we didn’t win that World Series against the Mets, I think I would have moved out of the city because in my mind it was a battle for New York.,” Jeter told YES Network’s Jack Curry. “We were playing for something that was pretty special, three championships in a row. The Mets had a great team, and all eyes were on New York at that particular time.
“We had to win. I felt as though we had everything to lose. I never like when teams are playing and they say ‘We had nothing to lose,’ yeah you do, you have a World Series to lose. I think for us it was a little bit more than that, so thank God we were able to win that series.”
All told, the Yankees would take care of business swiftly, capturing the series in five games, but it was no cakewalk. Every single game was decided by two runs or fewer, most notably with three one-run NYY victories.
And boy, did Jeter play his part. The World Series MVP slashed a truly mind-boggling ..409/.480/.864 with six runs scored, two home runs and two RBI in addition to some flawless defensive play. Now knowing he would’ve considered moving out of NYC in the event of a loss, it’s clear he was playing as if winning was the only option.