- Last Updated: 11:16 AM, June 1, 2012
- Posted: 1:40 AM, June 1, 2012
On June 1, 1992, the phone rang in Dorothy and Charles Jeter’s house in Kalamazoo, Mich.
“My mom answered it,’’ Derek Jeter told The Post. “She said the Yankees were on the phone and they wanted to talk to me.’’
Dick Groch, a scout with the Yankees, recalled the conversation as very simple and made plans to meet with the family the next night.
While Jeter said he was surprised the team that his favorite player, Dave Winfield, played for had taken him with the sixth overall pick in the draft, he doesn’t recall what happened after he hung up.
“I don’t know what I did,’’ Jeter said. “I really don’t know. Wow, that was 20 years ago?’’
Everyone knows what has transpired in those 20 years.
Jeter remembers signing for $700,000 with another $125,000 for college on June 27.
“The day after my birthday,’’ Jeter said.
From there Jeter went from a skinny high school shortstop with a questionable swing to the 1996 Rookie of the Year winner, a five-time World Series winner and a spot at the table with Yankees icons Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.
“Twenty years, that seems like a long time ago,’’ Jeter said.
According to some in the Yankees’ organization, they believed Jeter would go to the Astros with the first pick. Instead, Houston took Phil Nevin.
Groch, who signed Jeter and now works for the Brewers, made a speech at a pre-draft meeting in Tampa that is part of Yankees lore.
Concerned Jeter would accept a scholarship to Michigan and play for his beloved Wolverines, Groch was asked how serious Jeter was about going to Ann Arbor.
Then the scout delivered an impassioned message to his bosses.
“He’s not going to Michigan. He’s going to Cooperstown,’’ Groch said to his superiors in an emotional voice.
Recalling that this week, Groch said it wasn’t a stretch.
“If you get the opportunity to get one of those type players you get excited about it,’’ Groch said.
How long is 20 years in the baseball business?
“We went to dinner the day after he was drafted and we talked everything but baseball,’’ Groch said of dinner with the Jeter family.
“He had representation and that bogged things down because in those days it was faxes back and forth, but it got done.’’
1992: $800K signing bonus
1996: 1 year, $130K
1997: 1 year, $550K
1998: 1 year, $750K
1999: 1 year, $5M
2000: 1 year, $10M
2001-10: 10 years, $189M
2011-13: 3 years, $51M