Editor’s note: With Derek Jeter facing his final regular-season home game as a New York Yankee on Thursday, we’re re-running the American Family Insurance ALL-USA All-Time Baseball team that originally ran last year. The statistics for the players have been updated through this season.
USA TODAY has been selecting the nation’s best high school athletes since 1982 and baseball players since 1989. USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Halley selected an all-time American Family Insurance ALL-USA team based on former ALL-USA players’ baseball careers after high school. Based on accomplishments alone, Alex Rodriguez would have made this list, but because he admitted in 2009 to past performance-enhancing drug use, was left off.
NOTE: Only players who were named USA TODAY ALL-USA in high school were eligible for this team. Many of today’s stars, including former Fort Osage (Independence, Mo.) all-state selection Albert Pujols and Venezuela native Miguel Cabrera, were not ALL-USA selections.
Captain, Derek Jeter, IF
Fourteen-time All-Star has the most hits of any active major leaguer. He holds Yankees career records for hits, games, steals, at-bats and singles. Has won five gold gloves and five Silver Slugger awards and has played more postseason games than anyone. Was the 1992 ALL-USA Player of the Year from Kalamazoo (Mich.) Central.
THEN & NOW PHOTOS: The all-time ALL-USA Team
Josh Beckett, RHP
Three-time All-Star was named 2003 World Series MVP with the Florida Marlins. He also helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2007, when he won his first seven starts en route to a 20-7 season. He was the ALL-USA Player of the Year from Spring, Texas, in 1999.
Adrian Gonzalez, IF
Four-time All-Star has won three Gold Gloves at first base. Was a first-team ALL-USA player at Eastlake (Chula Vista, Calif.) in 2000.
Cole Hamels, P
Three-time All-Star and 2008 World Series MVP was a second team ALL-USA Player in 2002 at Rancho Bernardo (San Diego). The two pitchers picked for the first team that year were Scott Kazmir and Zack Greinke.
Josh Hamilton, OF
Five-time All-Star and 2010 American League Most Valuable Player. One of only 16 players to hit four homers in a game. Was an ALL-USA player in 1999 at Athens Drive (Raleigh, N.C.).
Matt Holliday, OF
Six-time All-Star and 2007 NL batting champion, he helped lead the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series in 2011, the same season he had an emergency appendectomy. He is credited with the longest homer ever at Busch Stadium with a 469-foot shot July 20, 2012. Was also an outstanding quarterback at Stillwater, Okla., where he was named second-team ALL-USA as a baseball player in 1998.
Clayton Kershaw, LHP
Four-time All-Star and two-time National League Cy Young Award winner reached the majors less than two years after he was named the 2006 ALL-USA Player of the Year from Highland Park (Dallas).
Joe Mauer, C
Six-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner was the American League MVP in 2009 and has won three AL batting titles. In the 2000-01 school year, he became the only athlete to be the ALL-USA Player of the Year in multiple sports, winning in football and baseball at Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul).
Justin Upton, OF
Two-time All-Star won a National League Silver Slugger award in 2011. Was the ALL-USA Player of the Year in 2005 at Great Bridge (Chesapeake, Va.). Played in his first major league game when he was 19.
Kerry Wood, RHP
National League Rookie of the Year in 1998 had 200 or more strikeouts in four of his first five seasons and was a two-time All-Star. He shares the record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game with 20. Was a first-team ALL-USA pick at Grand Prairie, Texas, in 1995.
David Wright, IF
Seven-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner has a career .300 batting average and has hit double-digit homers every season until this season. Was an ALL-USA first team player out of Hickory (Chesapeake, Va.) in 2001.