How Derek Jeter spent his night celebrating Marlins’ playoff berth

How Derek Jeter spent his night celebrating Marlins’ playoff berth

September 26, 2020

Derek Jeter recorded the sixth-most hits in baseball history, but the former Yankees captain absorbed plenty of hits, as well, to start his tenure as the head of baseball operations with the Miami Marlins.

After Jeter’s team clinched its first playoff berth since defeating his Yankees in the 2003 World Series with a 4-3 win Friday night in the Bronx, the 2020 Hall of Famer made sure to reach out to many of his employees, according to longtime baseball writer Peter Gammons.

“Derek Jeter went late into the night calling scouts and baseball ops people on all levels to congratulate and thank them for the Marlins making the playoffs,” Gammons tweeted Saturday. “It impacted a lot of people.”

The Marlins, who entered Saturday’s play 30-28 in this COVID-abridged campaign after losing 105 games in 2019, became the first National League team to qualify for the postseason after losing at least 100 games the previous year.

Jeter made some unpopular decisions after he and his ownership group took over the Marlins in 2017, including the firings of Hall of Famers and longtime team advisors Tony Perez and Andre Dawson, as well as the salary dumps of outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna.

Another former Yankees captain, Don Mattingly, also was back at the Stadium for the clinching. Donnie Baseball is a leading candidate to be named NL Manager of the Year.

“Nobody picked this club to be able to do anything this season, but we believed in ourselves,” Mattingly said. “It’s easy to be proud of these guys, the way they have dealt with everything.”

The Marlins had several games postponed earlier this summer due to positive COVID-19 cases. Friday’s clincher also occurred on the fourth anniversary of ace pitcher Jose Fernandez’s death in a boating accident.

“To do this on his day,” Mattingly said, “what a feeling.”

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