Derek Jeter will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 8. The Post is counting down his 10 best moments leading into The Captain’s big day in Cooperstown.
No. 9 Jeter being drafted in 1992
Talk about a steal.
The Yankees made one of the best decisions in franchise history when they selected Derek Jeter — a shortstop from Kalamazoo Central High School — with the sixth-overall pick in the 1992 MLB Draft. It was a dream come true for Jeter.
“No matter who asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them I was going to play baseball and I was going to play for the Yankees,” Jeter wrote a few years after his selection.
Jeter was committed to the University of Michigan at the time and there was concern he would not sign with the Yankees. Scout Dick Groch, however, was confident Jeter would have a bright future with the major league club.
Asked during a pre-draft meeting if Jeter was going to Michigan, Groch famously answered, “The only place this kid’s going is Cooperstown.”
Groch realized Jeter’s talent while scouting him.
“When you look in the window of a jewelry store, it doesn’t take long to see that big ring,” he said. “If you’ve been in it as long as I had, you know the difference between going to the Kentucky Derby and the county fair.”
MLB scouts said Jeter had “plus defensive tools for a demanding position” with “good hand speed at plate” and “outstanding arm strength.” He was all that and more,
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Phil Nevin (Astros), Paul Shuey (Indians), B.J. Wallace (Expos), Jeffrey Hammonds (Orioles) and Chad Mottola (Reds) were all selected ahead of Jeter. Johnny Damon (Royals, 35th pick), Jason Giambi (Athletics, 58th pick), Jason Kendall (Pirates, 23rd pick) and Shannon Stewart (Blue Jays, 19th pick) were the others selected that year who proved to be major league standouts.
But none of their careers compared to Jeter’s.