Jeter closest we have to modern-day Jackie

Originally Published: April 15, 2005
By Gary Gillette | ESPN Insider
It is a severe understatement to say that there is no way any modern baseball player can have the impact on American society or on the course of history that Jackie Robinson did.

A few second basemen today display some similarities to Robinson, but the only active regular second baseman who is even remotely comparable would be Ray Durham. And while Durham is an All-Star and a fine player in his own right, he's not at Robinson's level.

When we look around for a modern-day Jackie Robinson, one player stands out: Derek Jeter. In many ways, the parallels between the careers of these two great middle infielders are striking. Here's a look:

Gary Gillette | email MLB insider contributor
Gary Gillette, a contributor to MLB Insider on, is the editor of the 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, which was published in March by Sterling. Gary can be reached via e-mail at