It is like Babe Ruth Calling his shot in 1932. Like Carlton Fisk willing the ball fair in 1975. Derek Jeter’s “Flip Play” will not only go down in the annals of Yankees Lore, but Baseball Lore as well. It is the birth of a New York’s heroic postseason comeback in the wake of 9/11. It is the play that saved a Dynasty. At least for a few more weeks. It is an October Moment for the ages. One that is branded into our psyche. Over the years, Yankee fans have come to expect these things from their Captain. But this one… This one seems to stand out from the rest because it involves so much of the intangibles that everyone agrees is what makes Derek Jeter such a fantastic player. So, since the Yankees are playing in Oakland, it is a fitting time to revisit The Flip.
You know you can still hear the call in your head, even as your reading this… “Derek Jeter with one of the most unbelievable plays you will ever see by a shortstop!”. And whether or not you believe the play was/ is practiced… Both Jason Giambi and Eric Chavez, who would both go on to play for the Yankees in the future, couldn’t believe that, yes, the play is actually practiced…it still took tremendous instincts to complete the sequence. And yes, Bobby Valentine, Jeremy Giambi was indeed out.
But the most amazing aspect of the Flip is that it wasn’t Jeter’s only shining moment of the 2001 Postseason. As the clock turned to Midnight on Halloween, and the recovered World Trade Center Flag blew in the early November breeze on the Center Field Flag Pole at Yankee Stadium. Derek Jeter, once again, lifted his team, and a wounded city, onto his shoulders as he launched a game winning home run, earning him the title “Mr. November”.
Most players dream of just having the chance to be in a position to do something like that. Some players are actually lucky enough to actually have one moment like that. But only Derek Jeter could have two of those moments in one postseason. But there is no Mr. November without there first being… The Flip.