Former New York Yankees slugger Derek Jeter admitted on Wednesday that he had once worn a gold thong in the hopes of snapping a month-long hitting slump.
The Hall-of-Famer made the confession during an appearance on “The Tonight Show,” telling host Jimmy Fallon and singer Rita Ora that his 32-game slump in 2004 had been so bad that he finally tried the good-luck charm recommended by his teammate, first baseman Jason Giambi.
Derek Jeter shared the story how he wore a teammate’s (Jason Giambi) gold thong to break out of his 0-for-32 slump back in 2004 🤣
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) February 2, 2023
After Fallon introduced the game that Jeter and Ora would be playing — “True Confessions” — the former shortstop came clean: “I once wore a thong in public in front of thousands of people.”
Both Fallon and Ora found the statement difficult to believe — but then Jeter went on to explain exactly how it had come about.
“It is the truth,” Jeter insisted, adding, “I’m going to ultimately regret playing this game, but let me explain. I had a new teammate that I played with in 2002, and he always had a gold thong hanging from his locker. And he told me ‘anytime you struggle, you wear the gold thong, you’re guaranteed to get a hit.’”
Jeter said that he initially thought Giambi was a little crazy — but when the 2004 slump hit, every day he walked into the locker room, Giambi would point at the thing — which he kept hanging in his locker at all times.
After 32 games without a hit, Jeter said he’d been willing to try just about anything: “So finally, I wore the thong. Now it wasn’t thong to skin; I had shorts on underneath, so I put the thong over the shorts: first pitch, home run.”
Giambi confirmed Jeter’s story during a 2015 appearance with ESPN’s Dan Le Batard, saying that he wasn’t entirely sure whether Jeter had asked for the thong or someone had put it into his locker prior to the April 29 game.
“The golden thong is legendary. It’s never not gotten a hit. It was his first slump. I don’t think the guy’s ever slumped in his career. He’s unbelievable. You know, the gold thong, he had to get out of it,” Giambi explained.