So say officials at Majestic Athletic, which has made official batting practice jerseys since 1982 and authentic jerseys for all teams beginning in 2005.
"Derek just resonates with all demographics, all across the country," said Majestic president Jim Pisani. "He's really the only jersey that you consistently see at opposing ballparks, which is why he has been at the top for the last decade."
Pisani said Jeter's sales record is not only due to him playing 20 seasons with the Yankees and winning, but also due to the way commerce changed during his tenure. After Jeter came into the league, sporting goods stores expanded, as did the quality of the offerings, and perhaps the biggest factor: the rise and growth of the internet, just as the Yankees won four out of five World Series titles from 1996 to 2000.
Brett Gardner, CF
Brian McCann, C
Chase Headley, 3B
Chris Young, LF
Stephen Drew, 2B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Jose Pirela, DH
Brandon McCarthy, P
It has been seven years since Bob Sheppard last sat behind the mike as the public address announcer for the Yankees. But since his final game on Sept. 7, 2007, his voice has still announced at-bats for one player: “the shortstop, No. 2, Derek Jeter, No. 2.”
Mariano Rivera entering his final game at Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees still play his recordings to welcome fans to the ballpark.
Sheppard announced Yankees home games for an incredible 57 years, beginning with the 1951 season. He officially retired in 2009, and he died in July 2010.
But starting in 2015, Sheppard’s voice will no longer be heard during games. No other player on the current Yankees roster was wearing pinstripes when Sheppard last called a game.
The Yankees are in the midst of a four-game home series with the Baltimore Orioles, their final stretch of home games this season. With the Yankees facing tough odds of advancing to the postseason, the “Voice of God” likely has just three games left to announce Jeter to the Bronx crowd.
Nicknamed "The Voice of God" for his stylish, elegant introductions, Sheppard was the ballpark's public address announcer from April 1951 until Sept. 7, 2007. Before Sheppard took ill, Jeter asked Sheppard to record his introduction, which has been used when the Yankees captain walked to the plate for home games.
"He's as important as any player that's been here. He's part of the experience," Jeter said after Monday night's win over the Baltimore Orioles. "Part of the experience of Yankee Stadium is Bob Sheppard's voice."
Sheppard debuted for the Yankees on April 17, 1951, and worked his final game on Sept. 5, 2007. He missed the 2007 AL division series because of a bronchial infection, ending his streak of 121 consecutive postseason games at Yankee Stadium. He was replaced by Jim Hall, his longtime sub, and Paul Olden took over when the Yankees moved to the new ballpark in 2009.
Sheppard announced his retirement after the 2009 season and died in July 2010 at age 99.
Jeter, the Yankees' 40-year-old captain, is likely to play his final home game Thursday night, since New York probably will miss the playoffs.
He said he had gone to Sheppard with the idea of the recording.
"That's the only voice I'd heard growing up, and that's the only voice I wanted to hear when I was announced at home," Jeter said. "And fortunately he agreed to do it."
Recordings of Sheppard are used to welcome fans to Yankee Stadium at times, but Jeter's introduction will be its last in-game airing.
“I never said I didn’t think I could play anymore,” Jeter said. “This is the time for me to call it a career after this season. Some times things are difficult. Some times they come a little bit easier -- not easy, but they come a little bit easier at times. You’ve got to continue to battle. This is a game of adjustments. I’ll continue to make those adjustments until I’m out of games.”
Jeter was 1-for-3 on Monday with a two-run double and three RBIs. He is 9-for-20 on his final homestand.
Embarrassed, suspended and eventually hurt, Pineda would miss months. But look at him now. Pineda pitched another gem Monday against the Baltimore Orioles, going 7⅓ scoreless innings, allowing just a hit and a walk. He struck out eight. His ERA on the year is now 1.93.
"You have to remember the night that he pitched was miserable," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, remembering the rain and wind that combined with the cold at the Fens in April. "Yeah, I do think it is important to give him confidence when it is windy and it is cooler."
Derek Jeter has noticed how Pineda (4-5) has pitched in his 12 starts. Besides the Boston game, he has only given up more than two runs once.
"He's been outstanding," said Jeter, who had a two-run double and three RBIs and is now 9-for-29 on the homestand. "Every time out he's almost been dominant."
If Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka can stay healthy next year and pitch to their abilities, the Yankees could be on par with the best 1-2 punches in the games. On Monday, Pineda gave a glimpse that he might be an all-season pitcher.
Elimination Number: The Yankees' elimination number dropped to three, because the Kansas City Royals won their night cap with the Cleveland Indians. That means that any combination of Yankees losses and Royals wins that adds up to three would end the Yankees' playoff hopes. Girardi said he thinks the Yankees must win every game for the team to even have a shot.
The biggest problem for the Yankees is not only are they down in the standings, but they have to hurdle Seattle and Cleveland. Plus, the Yankees, having won two in a row, would have to end the season with a nine-game winning streak.
Ready for action: Jose Pirela drilled an RBI triple and was running so hard out of the box he almost fell down. Pirela, who hit better than .300 at Triple-A, was thrilled to be in the lineup. He batted ninth as the DH.
"When I saw the lineup, I was so excited," Pirela said.
Pirela, 24, has not been considered a top prospect by the Yankees.
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter began his final series at Yankee Stadium by breaking open the game with a two-run double, and he had three RBIs to lead the New York Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 Monday night.
Michael Pineda retired his first 13 batters before J.J. Hardy singled sharply to left field, pitching 7 1/3 innings and combining with three relievers on a one-hitter. Jose Pirela, the Yankees' team-record 57th player this season, became New York's first player in 34 years to triple in his first big league at-bat. He went 2 for 3 with the go-ahead RBI.
Despite the loss, AL East champion Baltimore clinched home-field advantage in an AL division series starting Oct. 2 when Detroit lost to the Chicago White Sox. The Orioles open the postseason against the wild-card playoff winner or the AL Central champion.
Jeter meter: Jeter is now 9-for-20 during his final homestand. Jeter was 1-for-3 on the night.
In the fifth, Jeter smashed a two-run double to make it 4-0 Yankees. Against lefty Wei-Yin Chen, Jeter fell behind 0-2 before working the count full and pulling a line drive to the left-field wall.
In the first, Jeter hit the first pitch he saw to the warning track in right for an out. In the third, the captain grounded out to short, but picked up an RBI to make it 2-0 Yankees. In the seventh, with a man on third, Jeter walked on a close 3-2 pitch from Evan Meek.
If you would like to read more on Jeter, Johnette Howard has a very good column on him.
Perfect Pineda: Pineda was perfect for the first 4⅓ innings. It is the second time that Pineda has taken a perfect game into the fifth against the O's. Forgetting the injury and the pine tar incident, Pineda has been pretty incredible this season. In 12 starts, his ERA is 1.93. He is scheduled to start the season finale in Boston on Sunday.
Jose, Jose, Jose: In the third, rookie Jose Pirela nailed an RBI triple in his first major league at-bat. On the long drive to left center, Pirela fired out of the box, sprinting like a man trying to impress. In the fifth, Pirela had a two-out single.
Pirela, a 24-year-old infielder, hit .305 at Triple-A Scranton and made the International League All-Star team, but the Yankees have not considered him a big prospect. Pirela batted ninth and was the DH on Monday.
Head Knocker: In the eighth, Chase Headley hit a solo homer.
Record-breaker: With Pirela playing, the Yankees have used 57 men this year, which is a new franchise record for a season.
Do you believe in miracles? Here are the latest wild-card standings.
Attendance: 35,614. Not exactly the "Farewell Jeter" number you might have expected.
On Deck: Jeter has just three more home games remaining in his career. On Tuesday, Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9, 4.90) will face Brandon McCarthy (7-4, 2.54).
NEW YORK -- The 700 or so people had paid from $125 to $2,000 per ticket to squeeze into the Hudson Theatre, a little jewel box of a venue in midtown Manhattan, early Monday afternoon. Now, for the better part of an hour, Derek Jeter was being interviewed by Brandon Steiner, a longtime friend who runs a memorabilia business that is so efficient at confiscating collectibles, Jeter joked if he wants to keep any mementos from this last week of his career, "I'm going to have to walk out of the stadium in full uniform."
And the audience laughed.
"I'm not making this up," Jeter needled, his voice almost plaintive now.
The Jeter farewell tour has been alternately nostalgic and heartfelt, awkward and funny, over-merchandised and occasionally underwhelming if the measure is waiting for Jeter to cut open a vein and bare his soul about what he expects to feel like by Thursday, when he plays his last game at Yankee Stadium. Or by Sunday, when he says goodbye for good in the Yanks' regular-season finale at Fenway Park.
"No, that ain't right! Fenway? C'mon," joked former Yankee Bucky Dent.
Dent, who was seated at one of the tables of honor Monday along with former Yankees Hideki Matsui and Chris Chambliss, added: "Can't they turn it around and play his last game here?"
NEW YORK -- Baltimore right fielder Nick Markakis rejoined the Orioles' starting lineup Monday, six days after his right shoulder was bruised when hit by a pitch from Aaron Loup during the AL East-clinching win over Toronto.
Markakis had missed four consecutive games. Orioles manager Buck Showalter had prepared an alternate lineup with Markakis at designated hitter, just in case he wasn't able to play the field.
First baseman Steve Pearce was sidelined for the third straight game because of a sore right wrist, and he had a cortisone injection.
"If he responds well Wednesday, he'd probably play Wednesday or Thursday," Showalter said before the start of a four-game series at the New York Yankees.
Showalter said he plans to use four starting pitchers in the AL division series, which opens Oct. 2. He left the impression Chris Tillman (13-5) will start the opener.
"It is different, in a sense, because you don't know where you are going to be at, the meaning of the game at that point," Girardi said because the Yankees' tragic number for playoff elimination is at four. "Knowing Derek, not knowing if he is going to want to be out there for every minute and every play so I have spent a little time thinking about it. There have been other people that have thrown out some ideas that I've thought about. I'll just kind of wait and see how it goes and we will make a decision when it is time, I guess."
While Jeter is retiring, Girardi doesn't think this is the last the Yankees will see of him. The manager expects Jeter to make the trip to the Yankees spring facility from his home in St. Petersburg.
"I would hope he would show up to spring training," Girardi said. "He doesn't live too far away. But I'm sure he will be busy. I'm sure we'll see him and he'll try to do it in a situation where a lot of people don't know he is there. He just kind of sneaks in and sneaks out."
Walking Wounded: Mark Teixeira had a third cortisone shot for his left wrist. He had the shot on Sunday and hopes to play Tuesday. Teixeira said he had the shot because he wanted to finish the year playing, not watching. He also said he may not be an 150-game a year player anymore. Both he and Girardi, though, think that his wrist should be in better shape after a full offseason next year. ... CC Sabathia played catch for the first time since his knee operation. He remains optimistic he will be good to go in spring training. Girardi said that Ivan Nova is doing great following his Tommy John rehab. Nova likely wouldn't be back until after the first month of the regular season.
NEW YORK - An upbeat Masahiro Tanaka is set to start Saturday at Fenway, giving him more confidence that he can avoid surgery on the small torn ligament in his throwing elbow and be strong for 2015.
"From where I am right now, I should be able to have a good offseason of training on what I want to do and I should be good to go next season," Tanaka said through his translator.
Tanaka, 25, made his first start in more than two months on Sunday. He threw 70 pitches over 5 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits, while striking out four and walking none.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tanaka will be allotted 80-85 pitches against the Red Sox.
Tanaka played catch in the outfield prior to Monday's game. He said he only felt normal soreness.
"He was all smiles today, which was good," Girardi said.
The Yankees signed Tanaka for a total of $175 million this past winter. He began the season as a legitimate Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year candidate, going 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA in his first 14 starts. He struggled in his next four starts before landing on the disabled list with a ligament tear.
The Yankees will enter next spring with many questions in their rotation besides Tanaka. CC Sabathia, coming off knee surgery, played catch Monday for the first time since May. Ivan Nova will try to return a month into the regular season following Tommy John surgery.
Here is your Yankee lineup behind Michael Pineda:
Brett Gardner, CF
Brian McCann, C
Chris Young, LF
Chase Headley, 3B
Francisco Cervelli, 1B
Stephen Drew, 2B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Jose Pirela, DH