Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 7/10/12

Derek Jeter has played in some of the biggest games and on the biggest stage for about 16 years now. Playing in New York has put him in the spotlight and under a magnifying glass. Constantly, Jeter has shined throughout the regular season and postseason. On one night in July every year, where the greatest players on the earth get together to play in one game, Jeter rises to the occasion as well.

Jeter has now been selected to 13 All-Star games in his career, nine times as a starter. He’s arguably having one of the better first halves of his career, hitting .308 with seven homers and 25 RBIs. Jeter’s 111 hits lead the American League.

Jeter has always had a flare for the dramatic, especially in the mid-summer classic. He won the games MVP award in 2000 at Turner Field in Atlanta, where he went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, a game in which the AL won 6-3. Jeter then went on to win the World Series MVP later on that season against the Mets, becoming the first player to win both awards in the same season.

The following year in 2001, Jeter went 1-for-1, his only hit being a solo home run. Overall, Jeter is 10-for-25 in his career in All-Star games, with five runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base. His .435 career average (in 25 plate appearances) is good for seventh all-time among those who qualify.

Aside from his memorable play in the All-Star game, another thing that sticks out in my mind is when Jeter stepped into the batters box in the 1999 game at Fenway Park. He didn’t go through his customary routine at the plate. Instead, he took a page out of fellow shortstop Nomar Garciaparra’s book. Jeter stepped in, adjusted his batting gloves multiple times, and then did the famous Nomar toe-tap as somewhat of a tribute. Prior to that, Jeter ran out and replaced Nomar at shortstop

Tonight, Jeter will take to his customary lead-off spot, and will dig in against San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain. One thing I always look for with Jeter in these games are his spikes. Jeter always wears flashy, fashion-minded cleats in these games. A lot of players have started doing the same thing since Jeter first started wearing them back in the 90′s.

With Robinson Cano’s disappointing performance last night in the Home Run Derby, many Yankee fans hope that one of their own will steal the show tonight. We all know Jeter rises to the occasion, and he’s turned back the clock this year with his play. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Jeter have some success tonight in Kansas City for the American League.

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