Jeter now third in postseason homers
Yankees' captain passes Hall of Famers Jackson, Mantle
NEW YORK -- What would be storybook stuff for most players is just another night in October for Derek Jeter. With one home run in Saturday night's Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, Jeter passed two men who are considered legends in the Yankees' universe and baseball as a whole.
Jeter's solo blast in the third inning of what would wind up a 4-3 victory over the Angels in 13 innings moved the Yankees' captain and shortstop into sole possession of third place on Major League Baseball's all-time list for postseason homers.
The two men he passed? Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson, that's all.
"To be quite honest with you, man, I'm not even thinking about it," Jeter said. "We're trying to win games. I wasn't even aware I tied Reggie until he was over here the other day and he told me about it."
There Jackson was in the Yankees' clubhouse after the Game 2 epic was complete, having a word with Jeter. But there was no mention of the individual accomplishment.
Jackson was congratulating Jeter on the win, because that is what true Yankees are all about this time of year.
The only player in the tradition-rich history of the Yankees to go deep more times than Jeter on the postseason stage is Bernie Williams, the retired outfielder who had 22 in his career.
Manny Ramirez is the all-time leader in postseason home runs with 29, followed by Williams and Jeter.
"I'll probably be excited about it when the season is over," Jeter said.
Jeter's home run wasn't the most important of the night for the Yankees. That would go to Alex Rodriguez, who smashed a game-tying rope to lead off the bottom of the 11th.
But even A-Rod -- arguably the best player in the game -- marvels at what Jeter has been able to accomplish.
"Jeter is incredible," Rodriguez said. "He played at such a high level this year, and he's going to be right there in the running for the MVP. And he's even elevating his game to a higher level now. Jeter never seems to disappoint."
Most career playoff homers
Especially not at this time of year.
Of Jeter's 19 homers in the postseason, the breakdown is 10 in the Division Series, six in the ALCS and three in the World Series.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been on hand for every game of Jeter's storied career, which means he has watched the milestones unfold in front of him.
"You play in the playoffs for so many years and you have the opportunity to do that," Rivera said. "But that's great. He has been so tremendous for us, and God bless him."
The Yankees' captain leads MLB's postseason list in hits, runs, at-bats, plate appearances, total bases and games played. He has now hit safely in 42 of his past 50 postseason games.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.