Derek Jeter was built for October. The bigger the game, the more success he had over that month.
There’s only one Mr. October, of course, and that is Reggie Jackson. Postseason success, though, has always spilled over like Octoberfest for the Yankees’ captain, who owns five World Series rings.
Keep that all in mind with what is happening now.
As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on lives throughout the world, the National Baseball Hall of Fame must consider moving this year’s induction from July to October.
What could be better than a fall foliage Hall of Fame induction?
The green hills surrounding Cooperstown would give way to the awe-inspiring colors of Mother Nature. Hopefully by then, and by the grace of God, we all will be beyond the coronavirus. We can take a deep breath and take in the cool fresh air of the Village of Cooperstown.
Along the way, the National Baseball Hall of Fame may have stumbled upon a successful new way to celebrate induction weekend.
Throughout baseball, one of the complaints I hear is that with a July induction, it’s extremely difficult for teams who have former players being inducted to make the trip with the day-to-day happenings in their baseball world.
And if MLB can somehow play games this season after a long halt, imagine how busy it will be the end of July during this Hall of Fame Weekend, which is currently scheduled for July 24-27. Induction day is set for July 26, but even if we come out the other side of this virus, will people be willing to travel and gather in great numbers in July?
Will families and even Hall of Famers make the trip to Cooperstown?
On Wednesday a Hall of Fame spokesperson told The Post, “At this time, we continue to plan for an exciting induction weekend in July.’’
At this time.
The magazine Memories and Dreams, the official magazine of the Hall of Fame, dropped on my doorstep this week. It’s a wonderful publication highlighting the Hall and it always gets me geared up for July to make sure my reservations are in place so once again I can see old friends gather at the Hall.
On the cover are the four inductees this year: Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons, all standing together proudly wearing their Hall of Fame jerseys. There is an inset of Marvin Miller, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966-82, who passed away in 2012. The four will go into the Hall, with Jeter and Walker having been voted in by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Jeter received 396 of 397 voters and did not seem to be upset not being a unanimous selection.
This is a tough time for all baseball fans and the Hall is currently closed, but has a Safe At Home alternative with more than 40,000 artifacts within the museum’s collection, plus millions more documents in the library. Tens of thousands of those pieces, including long-form interviews and oral histories, are available on the Hall of Fame website. There is also a Hall of Fame YouTube channel to enjoy.
An October induction for Jeter makes so much sense on many levels. During his 20-year pinstriped career, the shortstop compiled a slash line of .310/.377/.440 with 3,465 hits. Only five other players in major league history compiled more hits than Jeter — Pete Rose (4,256), Ty Cobb (4,189), Hank Aaron (3,771), Stan Musial (3,630) and Tris Speaker (3,514).
In the postseason Jeter put up a .308/.374/.465 slash line with 200 hits over 650 at-bats in 158 games. In the World Series Jeter gathered a slash line of .321/.384/.449, a better slash line than he had during his regular-season career.
That speaks to his greatness and his love for October baseball. And don’t forget November. His walk-off home run in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, 2001 gave the Yankees a 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks in Game 4 of that World Series.
In the 2000 World Series against the Mets, Jeter captured MVP honors by hitting .409 and producing a 1.344 OPS over five games.
October is Jeter’s month. Why not make it his Hall of Fame induction month as well?
In this troubled 2020, the timing is right.