Derek Jeter will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 8. The Post is counting down his 10 best moments leading into The Captain’s big day in Cooperstown.
2. The flip play
Derek Jeter’s “flip play” is one of the most iconic plays of the legendary shortstop’s illustrious 20-season career with the Yankees.
It occurred in the bottom of the seventh inning in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS in Oakland, Calif. The Athletics had Jeremy Giambi on first with two outs when Terrence Long ripped a double down the right-field line. Shane Spencer fielded the ball in the corner, but his wild throw toward home sailed over the heads of the cutoff man, second baseman Alfonso Soriano, and the backup, first baseman Tino Martinez, as Giambi rounded third base.
Jeter sprinted across the infield to snare the bouncing throw near the first-base line. He then flipped it to catcher Jorge Posada, who tagged Giambi just before he touched home plate.
“It’s the first time I saw a shortstop in that position,” former Yankees second baseman Jerry Coleman told The Post in 2001 of the play. “The second baseman usually goes out and the first baseman comes back. In this case, Jeter was there, and I have no understanding why. And just to get rid of it the way he did was brilliant,”
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The miraculous flip kept the Yankees’ ahead 1-0, an advantage they maintained the rest of the game to notch their first victory in the best-of-five series, which they went on to win. They clinched the American League title in five games win over the Mariners in the ALCS before falling to the Diamondbacks in the World Series.
Former Yankees pitcher Mike Stanton told The Post in 2017: “The flip play was really the turning point. If they score that run, we don’t come back from that. For some reason, that kind of flipped the switch.”
Martinez said it was the momentum from that play and the Game 3 victory that led the Yankees to their series win.
“We felt if we won Game 3 we would win Game 4 and no matter where it was played we would win Game 5.”