Derek Jeter Reveals He Wore Lucky 'Golden Thong' In Yankees Game to Break Hitting Slump

The baseball legend, 48, revealed how an unusual charm turned his luck around in 2004 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Derek Jeter during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Photo: Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

Derek Jeter is opening up about a very unusual secret to his success.

Speaking on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Wednesday, the baseball legend, 48, revealed that he once broke out of a major hitting slump by wearing a golden thong during a Yankees game.

"I once wore a thong in public in front of thousands of people," Jeter read during the True Confessionals segment of the show, where the Turn 2 Foundation founder was asked to make a statement that could either be true or false.

"I'm gonna need something stronger than that coffee," Jeter joked when he first opened the envelope, which was picked by the audience.

After a brief debate between host Jimmy Fallon and fellow guest Rita Ora, who both said it must be a lie, Jeter confirmed the amazing news.

"It is the truth," he said of the secret good luck charm, as the audience erupted in cheers. "I'm going to ultimately regret playing this game, but let me explain."

Derek Jeter during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

Jeter then revealed that a Yankees teammate (reportedly Jason Giambi) had a gold thong "hanging from his locker" and would wear it whenever he felt the need to improve his luck with the bat.

"I thought the guy was crazy," Jeter said.

That all changed, however, as Jeter struggled with a 0-for-32 slump at the plate. "In 2004 I went through the worst offensive stretch in my career," Jeter told Fallon.

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In desperation, the Yankees legend finally turned to the golden thong in a last-ditch attempt to break his hitting drought. The result? The infielder hit a home run at his first at bat while wearing the thong under his uniform.

"The golden thong is legendary. It's never not gotten a hit," Giami said in a 2015 interview with "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."

Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees bats against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning during the last game of the season at Fenway Park
Elsa/Getty Images

The hit in the golden thong was against the Oakland Athletics on April 29, 2004. That same year, Jeter won his first Golden Glove Award and helped lead the Yankees to the ALCS.

Later on Wednesday's show, Jeter told the story of how he became "The Captain" in 2003.

"I thought I was in trouble," the dad of three daughters said of getting a call from the Yankees PR director saying "the boss" George Steinbrenner wanted to talk to him.

"There was this false narrative going around town that I was this big party animal," he added of his reputation at the time.

"So he named me 'Captain,'" Jeter continued. "I think he was literally like, 'this guy doesn't care what I say.'"

Derek Jeter during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

The title led to the 2022 ESPN docuseries, The Captain, where Jeter sat down for the first time to tell his story. Despite his candidness, Jeter admitted there were certain things he didn't feel comfortable sharing.

"There [were] a lot of things I wouldn't touch on," Jeter shared exclusively with PEOPLE during a July 2022 Zoom call joined by Greatness Wins apparel co-founders Misty Copeland and Chris Riccobono. "I wouldn't necessarily say a lot of things."

"I think there are some things in your private life you keep private, and you just don't share them," he added.

The seven-episode docuseries, which premiered July 18, shared the former shortstop's journey to baseball glory.

The docuseries included interviews with family, friends and even Jeter's former pal and teammate, Alex Rodriguez. Though he opened up about much of his life, Jeter said he was careful with the information he shared for a reason.

"Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can't put it back in," the five-time World Series champion told PEOPLE. "So there are boundaries, and there are some things that I'm just — some lines I'm unwilling to cross."

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