BY HIS OWN STANDARDS, JETER DOESN'T MEASURE UPBy Mike Mazzeo
Derek Jeter is the only New York Yankee to ever reach the 3,000-hit club.
He's a 12-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove award winner, was named Rookie of the Year in 1996 and is the only player in major league baseball history to win both the World Series MVP and All-Star Game MVP in the same season (2000).
But to Jeter, awards and numbers have never mattered.
All he ever talks about is winning -- specifically championships. And that's where Jeter comes up short on Tim Kurkjian's list of all-time Yankees.
Jeter has won five World Series titles, which seems impressive -- until you look at the eight men in front of him:
1. Babe Ruth (seven), 2. Lou Gehrig (six), 3. Joe DiMaggio (nine), 4. Mickey Mantle (seven), 5. Yogi Berra (10), 6. Whitey Ford (six), 7. Mariano Rivera (five) and 8. Bill Dickey (seven).
Many people would immediately argue Jeter should be ahead of Dickey, the least known on this legendary list. But Dickey -- a Hall of Famer in his own right -- was one of the best-hitting catchers of all time (.313 career batting average) and went 7-1 in the World Series over his 17-year career.
Jeter may pass Dickey on this list. But for now, if you measure greatness like the Captain does, he comes up short.
As Ian O'Connor writes, "Derek Jeter may be No. 2 in your programs and No. 1 in your hearts." But as of July 2011, he's No. 9 on Tim Kurkjian's list of the greatest Yankees.
The real question is: Why isn't Rivera, the most dominant closer of all time, not ranked higher?
BELOW BILL DICKEY? C'MON!By Ian Begley
No disrespect to Bill Dickey, his seven World Series rings, eight pennants and plaque in Cooperstown. But there's no way he belongs ahead of Derek Jeter on a list of all-time Yankees players.
Bill Dickey? Come on.
One way to compare Dickey and Jeter would be the Hall of Fame vote. In Jeter's case, it's hypothetical at this point, but even those who cringe at every Jeter groundout can agree he'll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Dickey was voted in after seven years of eligibility.
So there's that.
Like Jeter, Dickey was the definition of consistency at his position. Dickey caught at least 100 games in 13 straight seasons and batted .313 in 17 seasons.
But there's no way those accomplishments trump Jeter's 15 straight seasons of at least 150 hits, his claim as the franchise's all-time hits leader and the fact he was the first player to reach 3,000 hits in pinstripes.
Some say it isn't about the numbers with Jeter. So let's take a look at one intangible: leadership. Jeter was the unquestioned leader on four of his five World Series winning teams. Dickey played second fiddle to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.
Having said all of that, it's hard to say exactly where Jeter should be on a list of Yankees greats.
But there's no doubt he needs to be rated higher than Bill Dickey.