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It's Opening Day: Celebrate with Derek Jeter's Classic "Yankee Wives" SNL Sketch

Jeter said he had "a really good time" making the Saturday Night Live sketch starring Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph—plus David Wells, David Cone and himself in drag.

By Samantha Vincenty

Over the years, Saturday Night Live has recruited dozens of professional athletes to make sketch cameos; 1997's "Baseball Dreams Come True" sketch managed to star no less than fifteen Major League Baseball players, to name just one example. And of course, plenty of athletes have taken center stage to host SNL, from Deion Sanders to Travis Kelce. Yankees legend Derek Jeter's December 1, 2001 SNL episode delighted baseball fans when two of his teammates made a surprise appearance as fellow "Yankee Wives."

How to Watch

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

Jeter isn't the only MVP in the sketch. Four iconic women of SNL co-star: Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, and a then-brand-new Featured Player named Amy Poehler. Playing the not-real wives of real New York Yankees, Gasteyer's character introduces the gang to a new addition: Candy Soriano, wife of then-Yankee Alfonso Soriano. Spoiler alert, it's Derek Jeter in drag.

RELATED: SNL's "Outside the Lines" Sketch Is Melissa McCarthy at Her Funniest

Amid their bonding session, the wives wind up clashing with two more women—played by Jeter's Yankees teammates, David Wells and player-turned-commentator David Cone.

Derek Jeter during a sketch on Saturday Night Live Season 27 in 2001

SNL's "Yankee Wives" sketch stars Derek Jeter, David Wells, and David Cone in drag

"We have the best view of the game, and we can keep an eye on the female fans to make sure they don't get too close to our husbands. 'Cause I will kill them," Poehler's Yankee wife tells Jeter's Candy. "I've dedicated 14 years to this marriage, I'm not gonna let some bleacher sl—"

"Ok Clarice, let's not spiral," Bernie Williams' fictional wife Patrice (Gasteyer) cuts in. The ladies then compare notes on how they met their respective spouses before gossiping about how cute various early-aughts Yankee players are. 

"Jeter is the cute one, Jeter is where it's at," Gasteyer's character says, as Rudolph's character agrees with a "Jeter es caliente."

"Ooh, no Jeter is not for me," Jeter's character tells them. "He looks like if The Rock had sex with a Muppet."

Derek Jeter, David Wells and David Cone during a sketch on Saturday Night Live Season 27 in 2001

After the wives catch up on how their cookbooks for charity are all going ("Part of our job is to give back to the community by watching these games and making up chili recipes!"), they're interrupted by the bane of the Yankee wives' existence: Two Jumbotron-flashing women who have their eye on the players.

The women in question are played by Cone and Wells—and let's just say things take on more of a hockey vibe after that. Watch SNL's "Yankee Wives" sketch above.

Derek Jeter had "never been so nervous in my life" hosting SNL in 2001

In a March 26 conversation between Cal Ripken Jr. and Jeter for The Players' Tribune, the sports platform founded by Jeter, he shared what that exciting night felt like. 

"I'd never been so nervous in my life than right before I went live," Jeter said of the moment he had to walk down the Studio 8H steps and deliver his monologue.

Derek Jeter Monologue

Of "Yankee Wives," Jeter told Ripkin Jr., "they asked me to dress up as a woman, and I did. Hey, if you're going to do it, you got to be all in, right? David Wells and David Cone were dressed up as women as well, and I didn't know they were going to be there."

That's right—it was a surprise to both the audience and Jeter.

"So when they walked out, I just lost it," Jeter said. "I have the utmost respect for all actors and actresses, because this is something that I could never get comfortable doing."

While it was definitely out of the Yankee player's comfort zone, he added, "we had fun! We had a good time."