Derek Jeter Biography for Kids

Derek Sanderson Jeter was born on June 26, 1974 in Pequannock, New Jersey. He was offered a baseball scholarship by the University of Michigan but decided to join MLB instead when he was offered $800,000 by the Yankees. He spent four years in their minor league teams developing his skills and made it to the majors in 1995.

Derek plays shortstop for the Yankees. He is currently 11th on the list for most hits in a baseball career. He holds career records for the Yankees for hits (3,304), games played (2,585), stolen bases (348), and at bats (10, 551). He was selected for the All-Star team 13 times, has five Gold Glove Awards (for superior fielding performances), four Silver Slugger Awards (for best offensive player), two Hank Aaron Awards (for top hitter in the league), and a Roberto Clemente Award (for sportsmanship, community involvement, and his contribution to his team). He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1996. At the end of the 2012 season, his career batting average was .313 with 3,304 hits; 1,868 runs; 255 home runs and 1,254 Runs batted in. He has been on five championship Yankees teams.

Derek said, “If you’re going to play at all, you’re out to win. Baseball, board games, playing Jeopardy!, I hate to lose.” He founded the Turn 2 Foundation whose mission is “to create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and ‘TURN 2’ healthy lifestyles.” Turn 2 promotes what they call the 10 Pillars of Leadership: Morality, Communication, Taking Initiative, Being Trustworthy, Being Respectful, Being Responsible, Being Organized, Leading by Example, Having a Positive Attitude and Living a Healthy Lifestyle. Derek speaks to students about the importance of making good choices. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig wrote to Derek, “On and off the field, you are a man of great integrity, and you have my admiration.”