Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who thrived under the city's unforgiving lights and lived up to the impossible expectations of some of professional sports' most demanding fans, was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday — just one vote short of a unanimous decision.
Jeter was chosen on 396 out of 397 ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, falling just short of the 100 percent reached by relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, his longtime teammate, who is the only player ever to be elected unanimously to the hall in Cooperstown, New York.
Jeter, 45, who was raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, made his Major League Baseball debut in 1995 and played his first full season in 1996.
It was in that rookie year that Jeter led his upstart team to a World Series title, its first since 1978 — the longest world championship drought in the franchise's storied history.
Led by Jeter, the Yankees won the World Series again in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. He hung up his cleats after the 2014 season.
Jeter will be joined on the Hall of Fame stage on July 26 by former Montreal Expos and Colorado Rockies outfielder Larry Walker.
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Walker played most of his career with the Rockies, leading the expansion franchise to its first playoff appearance in 1995.
But he'll be best known as one of greatest baseball players to come out of hockey-mad Canada. He's the second Canadian to be elected to Cooperstown, following pitcher Ferguson Jenkins of Chatham, Ontario, who was elected in 1991.
Walker, who is from British Columbia, broke in with Montreal and led the franchise to the brink of greatness.
He was one of the best players on the 1994 Expos, who had baseball's best record (74-40) when the season came to an abrupt halt in mid-August because of a labor dispute. The playoffs were canceled, and baseball never recovered in Montreal, as the team's financial fortunes nosedived before the Expos moved to Washington for the 2005 season.
Catcher Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, the longtime executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, were elected to Cooperstown last month by the hall's Modern Era Committee, which assesses the cases of baseball figures overlooked in the main annual balloting.
Simmons was a highly admired switch-hitting catcher with 248 home runs and almost 2,500 hits in a 21-year career from 1968 to 1988, primarily with the St. Louis Cardinals, but also with the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves.
Simmons' Cooperstown case had been hindered for years because he suffered from comparisons to Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds, who played in the same era and is widely regarded as the game's greatest catcher.
Miller, who died in 2012 at age 95, negotiated the sport's first collective bargaining agreement; won players' freedom from the reserve clause, which effectively tied them to their teams for life; and helped to usher in the era of free agency, which saw major league players' average salary rise from $19,000 in 1966 to $326,000 when he retired in 1982.
CLARIFICATION (Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, 8:05 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article imprecisely identified Marvin Miller. He did not found the Major League Baseball Players Association; he was hired as its executive director when Major League Baseball officially recognized the association as the players' union in 1966.