For years, that scenario has been a fascinating what-might-have-been: five big league teams passed on the opportunity to draft a lanky high school infielder from Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1992, allowing him to fall to New York with the sixth pick.
In fact, Astros scout Hal Newhouser was so furious that Houston took Phil Nevin instead, the former big league pitcher quit his job. And so it was destined that Jeter would go on to wear pinstripes, not face them.
That will change -- at least for one day -- on March 3, as Jeter takes the field for the United States in a World Baseball Classic exhibition against the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
"Hopefully, I won't see any pitches inside," Jeter told The Associated Press on Thursday. "It will be funny. It will be fun."
Jeter, a Tampa, Fla., resident, is working out at the Yankees' Spring Training complex. He played for the U.S. team in the initial Classic three years ago.
"I had a good time," Jeter said. "I enjoyed myself. I think the first time around we really didn't know what to expect. Once you got there and you started to play, you realized how special it was."
The Yankees will also host an exhibition against Team Canada on March 5. Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera are also among the Yankees' regulars expected to take part in the Classic, playing for the Dominican Republic.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.