No other player even comes close to Jeter's 200 hits in postseason history, as Bernie Williams is second on the list with 128. Reggie Jackson may hold the title of "Mr. October," but Jeter may be the best offensive player in postseason history.
The Yankee shortstop has been to the postseason 16 times in his 18-year career and has helped bring New York five World Series titles. He made his first postseason appearance in 1996 at 22 and, in 16 games, hit .359 and scored 12 runs. Not bad for a first full season in the major leagues.
While batters like Jackson and Kirk Gibson have produced some of the most memorable moments in postseason history, and former Yankee greats like Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth had god-like World Series numbers, Jeter could go down as the most consistent playoff hitter.
The 38-year-old has played 157 playoff games altogether, the most all-time. Second on that list is Jorge Posada, who played in 32 fewer contests. Basically, Jeter has added a 19th season to his career with his playoff experience.
All those appearances have allowed Jeter to top many all-time postseason stat lists. He is the leader in eight postseason categories, including games played, runs scored, hits, total bases, doubles and triples. He is also third all-time with 20 postseason home runs and fourth all-time with 61 RBIs.
While it looks like Jeter may be the leader in many of those categories
simply because he has played the most games, a closer look is more
Jeter has played in 157 postseason contests — five less games than a full regular season — and in that span has batted .306 with 20 home runs, 61 RBIs, 32 doubles, five triples, 18 stolen bases and a .841 OPS. For his career, the future Hall of Famer has averaged .313 with 16 home runs, 79 RBIs, 33 doubles, four triples and 22 stolen bases.
Basically, Jeter has been just as productive in the postseason as he has been throughout his entire career. It is hard enough to be that consistent while being in the groove for a 162-game season, but to put up those numbers at a staggered pace is unbelievable.
Many players have put up more eye-popping statistics during a smaller sample of games, ala Jackson and Carlos Beltran, but Jeter has averaged 1.27 hits per game in the playoffs and posted a .374 OBP.
Gehrig may have brought the Yankees more titles than Jeter, but Jeter has won a title five out of the seven times he has been to the World Series and, of the 32 total playoff series he has participated in, the Yankees won 22.
Compared to Gehrig and Ruth, Jeter's track record still stands up. In 38 World Series games, Jeter has raked in 50 hits and scored 32 runs while batting .321. In 34 World Series games, Gehrig did have 10 home runs and 35 RBI while hitting .361, but he was a middle-of-the-order run-producer, and Jeter has been relied upon as a tablesetter. Therefore, the comparison isn't valid.
Jeter has been given the opportunity to add to his playoff legacy in 2012, as the Yankees take on the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, and has continued to do more of the same — hit. Going into Saturday night's contest, Jeter was batting .364.
Coincidence? I think not.