Originally written on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 4/28/12

Some players are just entering or in the midst of their prime. Guys like Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp came out slugging to start the year and are early MVP candidates for their respective leagues a month into the season. Meanwhile, there are two guys who supposedly had their best baseball behind them who are off to arguably the hottest starts of their careers. Yes, AL East haters, this is about David Ortiz and Derek Jeter. 18 games into the season, the aging All Stars were both hitting .420. While neither will finish the season at that clip (one would imagine), both of the players came into this season with something to prove to their respective fan bases. And, themselves.

The similarities actually started last season. Both Ortiz and Jeter finished 2011 with 162 hits and 84 runs scored. Jeter, however only slugged six home runs to Ortiz’ 29. Ortiz also won the RBI battle with 96 to Jeter’s 61, mainly due to their positions in the batting order.

While Ortiz and Jeter have been the faces of their respected franchises for some time now, Yankees and Red Sox fans alike began doubting their All Stars as their production began to drop as their age rose. Both players have had their contracts expire and renewed with much backlash from these fan bases. Both have been called over payed and far beyond their prime despite their past accomplishments.

Jeter has been the Yankees every day shortstop since 1996. He has played 2,445 games in pinstripes and has become one of the most iconic figures for one of the most storied franchises in MLB history. The 12 time All Star helped bring five World Series titles to the Bronx. His 3,122 hits are more than anyone who has ever donned the pinstripes. He has also swiped more bases than any other Yankee. His number two will never be worn in New York ever again.

While Ortiz has only been a member of the Red Sox since 2003, his impact in the midst of the Red Sox lineup throughout history is second to none. Ted Williams, Yaz, Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, Johnny Pesky… No one was able to do what Ortiz did in just his second season in Boston. Every member of the 2004 World Champion Red Sox holds a special piece of history in Boston. But, other than perhaps Curt Schilling, Ortiz will forever be remembered as the catalyst. Down 0-3 to the Yankees in the ALCS, Ortiz seemingly put the franchise on his back. Since the first title he helped deliver to Boston, he has gone on to win another ring, become a seven time All Star, win the Home Run Derby in 2010, and become the MLB all time leader in home runs and RBI by a DH. After tonight, Ortiz sits 18 back of 400 home runs.

Both members of the centuries first All Decade team, Ortiz and Jeter are off to arguably the hottest starts of their careers. If either of their teams plan on making a push deep into the post season, Ortiz and Jeter must be integral pieces once again. Regardless of their teams, both players look like they took an offseason vacation to the fountain of youth. These guys have plenty of baseball in their futures and those fans calling for their collars just a short time ago are certainly singing a different tune today.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

Report: L.A.-area venues wary of temporarily hosting NFL teams

Jimmy Graham to block for Marshawn 75 percent of time

Kobe Bryant not sure if 2015-16 is his final NBA season

Report: Arian Foster could be headed to injured reserve

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

RG3 on team's expectatons: Not asking me to be Superman

Bills' Kromer issues suspension statement without apology

Report: Patriots restructure Rob Gronkowski's contract

Agent: Rory McIlroy not booked for PGA Championship practice

Tom Brady, NFL to appear before judge on August 12

Melvin Gordon’s mom won’t wear his jersey this year

Waiver wire deals to keep an eye on following trade deadline

Chip Kelly: No regrets keeping Riley Cooper on team after rant

Houston Astros have altered their fate

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

Gronk, Big Papi go 'country' in latest Dunkin Donuts video

Phillies showing signs of future success

Mortensen on false Deflategate report: Still figuring Twitter out

Sheldon Richardson is down, but is he out?

Would Phil Jackson have taken Towns or Okafor first overall?

Seven Big 12 Heisman candidates for 2015

Will Manziel be good enough to be Browns’ backup plan?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker