Derek Jeter's most memorable moments

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

Reflecting on the most memorable moments of the Yankee shortstop's career.

Derek Jeter's announcement that he will be retiring from professional baseball after the 2014 season set off a shockwave across the baseball landscape. The 39-year-old will go down as one of the greatest players of his generation and leave behind a career full of memorable moments.

In honor of Jeter's MLB career, then, here are his best moments in Yankee pinstripes:

Jeter's first career hit

Jeter ranks 10th all-time on MLB's career hits list with 3,316, and his first major league hit came all the way back on April 30, 1995 against the Seattle Mariners. At the time, few could have known how often Jeter would terrorize opposing pitchers with base hits just like this one.

The Jeffrey Maier home run

Jeter always had a knack for coming up with big hits in the postseason, even if some were simple fly balls to right field. On this occasion, 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier memorably stuck his glove out over the fence and reeled in Jeter's fly ball, which was ruled a home run despite protests from Orioles right fielder Tony Torasco. Jeter's home run tied the game and the Yankees would go on to win that day and clinch the 1996 World Series, the first of five World Series titles the Yankees have won during Jeter's career.

The Jeter flip

Of all the plays Jeter has made throughout his career, perhaps none is more famous and recognizable than the flip play he made to cut down Jeremy Giambi at home plate in the 2001 ALDS against the Athletics. Jeter's play preserved a 1-0 Yankees lead in the seventh inning of Game 3, and the Yankees would go on to win the game and the series before falling to the Diamondbacks in the World Series later that postseason. It remains one of the more instinctual and mind-boggling plays in recent memory.

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Jeter hits walk-off home run against Byung-Hyun Kim

The Diamondbacks were one out away from taking a 3-1 lead in the 2001 World Series. But after Tino Martinez tied the game at 3-3 with a home run, Jeter followed with a walk-off home run to right field, sparking off a bevy of "Mr. November" nicknames.

Jeter dives into stands against Red Sox

At the height of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry in 2004, Jeter made another memorable defensive play, diving into the stands on a foul pop fly to left field. For Yankees fans, the play epitomized Jeter's hustle and commitment, while Red Sox fans probably couldn't bear to watch Jeter make another great play at their expense.

Jeter's 3,000th hit

Jeter's 3,000th hit remains one of those awesome baseball moments you just can't make up. He came into the game hitting .257 and in the midst of a prolonged slump. Whispers of Jeter being "washed up" and "over the hill" had begun to set in. All of that was forgotten on the afternoon of July 9, 2011 when Jeter went 5-for-5 and got his 3,000th hit on a home run to left field off David Price. The best part remains Rays first baseman Casey Kotchman simply tipping his cap as Jeter rounded first base.

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