ESPN’s ‘The Captain’ Takes a Deep Dive on Derek Jeter

Image of Derek Jeter for ESPN's 'The Captain'

Derek Jeter may not be the greatest player to ever wear a New York Yankees jersey, but he might be the most popular. Spending his entire 20-year Hall of Fame career in pinstripes, Jeter is as closely associated with the Yankees as any player is to any team in any sport (given free agency and the salary cap, it’s possible we never see anything like Jeter’s one-team run again). As the Yankees’ all-time career leader in hits (3,465), doubles (544), games played (2,747), and at bats (11,195), Jeter will forever be known to Yankees’ fans as The Captain.

That nickname is also the title of a new seven-part ESPN miniseries that premieres at 10pm ET on July 18 following the 2022 Home Run Derby. The new documentary, which moves to Thursdays at 9pm beginning July 21, follows acclaimed multipart ESPN documentaries on Michael Jordan (The Last Dance) and Tom Brady (Man in the Arena), and early reviews are calling it “revealing.”


Here are three reasons why you should watch.


Opening up at Last

For all of his amazing accomplishments we witnessed on the baseball diamond, Derek Jeter was incredibly private away from it. While he was a good sport at participating in planned media sessions, Jeter was never the type to offer up a juicy sound bite. That was less a result of his personality than a conscious choice.

“I didn’t try to make their job difficult,” USA Today quotes Jeter as saying about the media. “I tried to make my job easy.” 

Now that he’s retired, expect Jeter to finally get candid about his relationship with rivals and teammates.


Rift With A-Rod

Speaking of which, one of the most anticipated storylines in The Captain will focus on Jeter’s sometimes contentious relationship with teammate Alex Rodriguez. While the players had been close when A-Rod was with the Seattle Mariners in the ‘90s, their relationship became strained following an interview that Rodriguez gave to Esquire in 2001. In the new documentary, Jeter finally shares his side of the story.

“Those comments bothered me because, like I said, I’m very, very loyal,” Jeter says in the doc, according to the New York Post. “As a friend, I’m loyal. I just looked at it as, ‘I wouldn’t have done it.’” Jeter later adds that, [A-Rod is] not a true friend, is how I felt. Because I wouldn’t do it to a friend.” Although they would play together as teammates from 2004 through Jeter’s retirement in 2014 and claim to have mended fences, expect the A-Rod parts of The Captain to become social media fodder in the coming weeks. 


The Captain Reacts

If you watched The Last Dance, you’ll remember the scenes of Michael Jordan watching interviews with rivals like Isiah Thomas as some of the most compelling (and meme-able) in the entire series. For The Captain, director Randy Wilkins has Jeter do something similar and USA Today says that Jeter is “at his most comedic (and most real)” during these segments. Apparently, after Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra mentions that the fabled Red Sox-Yankees rivalry was not as hateful as we were led to believe, Jeter remarks, “That’s what losers say.”

Whether you come for these types of spicy clapbacks or simply want to revisit the highlights of one of the greatest careers in baseball history, The Captain is one sports doc you won’t want to miss. Check out the full schedule below.


  • Episode 1: Monday, July 18, 10 p.m. ET
  • Episode 2: Thursday, July 21, 9 p.m. ET
  • Episode 3: Thursday, July 28, 9 p.m. ET
  • Episode 4: Thursday, July 28, 10 p.m. ET
  • Episode 5: Thursday, Aug. 4, 9 p.m. ET
  • Episode 6: Thursday, Aug. 4, 10 p.m. ET
  • Episode 7: Thursday, Aug. 11, 10 p.m. ET