1999-2000: Behold the Power
In 1999, Jeter had his most prolific season to date, setting highs in home runs and RBI, and posting the highest batting average of his career. He was providing the perfect parallel between his baseball and personal lives. He performed on the field, took what he wanted off the field, and nobody questioned him for it. He had become bigger than man.
In 2000, after leading the Yankees to their third World Series title in four years, and prior to winning their third in a row later that year, Jeter appeared on Regis & Kathy Lee. In a harmless moment of displaying his charming personality, Jeter admitted that he had a thing for Miss Universe Lara Dutta. Within a week, the two were on a date together. He snaps his fingers and he gets what he wants.
2001: When a Tiger Attacks
Jeter and Dutta dated for more than a year, and during that time Jeter’s friend, Tiger Woods, was quickly becoming the greatest golfer in the history of the game. He even gave tabloids a glimpse of the man he would eventually become when allegedly asked Dutta to join him at his charity event. If it happened, she denied, and Woods and Jeter remained friends, at least in front of the camera, but there was a minor blemish and that didn’t match Jeter’s plan. Exit Dutta, enter Joy Enriquez.
The Yankee great and the 7th Heaven actress may have already known each other from her time as a backup singer for Mariah Carey, but there’s a better chance that Jeter knew her as Alex Rodriguez’s girlfriend. A-Rod had the biggest contract in MLB history with the Texas Rangers that year. But Jeter had his girl.