Love or hate the New York Yankees, there is no denying that Derek Jeter will go down as a baseball legend. I am a diehard Yankees fan, and to see Jeter retire after the 2014 season will be extremely emotional and sad. This will officially tie a bow on the “Dynasty Years” and my childhood Yankees.
What is most impressive to me isn’t what Jeter has done on the field, but off of it. We all know about the flip play, Mr. November, his signature jump throw from shortstop and getting that 3000 hit off of a dramatic home run. But Jeter has been practically flawless away from the baseball diamond as well.
To spend your entire career with the Yankees is impressive, but to handle the New York spotlight the way he has is nothing short of outstanding. This is a city that can chew you up and spit you out. This city destroys players, from Hideki Irabu to Aj Burnett to Alex Rodriguez, players just don’t have “it” to handle the fame and pressure that comes with putting on the pinstripes.
But Jeter is different. He is the face of not only the Yankees, but New York sports, yet he hasn’t come close to an inch of scandal or negativity. Seriously, I think the biggest “controversy” involving Jeter is when he faked getting hit by a pitch in Tampa a few years back!
But in this day and age of social media and constantly being in the public eye, Jeter has handled himself perfectly. You never see a TMZ article about him being out, yet we know Jeter goes out and meets the ladies. He just knows what his plan is, how to act and who to trust. That is what sets him apart from Alex Rodriguez, who has failed miserably at handling the New York spotlight.
A-rod wants to be Jeter, and he is the exact opposite of the Captain. Jeter will never let outside drama affect the team. Jeter didn’t have to cheat to win. He was never questioned for his work ethic or for not hustling to first base. He gave straight answers to the media, and kept that blue collar, hard working mentality at all times.
Jeter is a person that is the perfect role model, not only for kids, but adults as well. He handles himself with class, smarts and integrity. Fans will remember him for being clutch, exciting, hard working and the ultimate leader. I can go on and on about Jeter, but will keep it short.
Derek Jeter is one of the greatest Yankees of all time. His number will be retired, a plaque put in Monument Park and will be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee down the line. Derek Jeter always respected the pinstripes and the Yankee way set forth by the late George Steinbrenner.
It has been a pleasure to grow up watching Jeter, and I will be talking to my children in the future about how I watched a Yankees legend.
Some of his best moments
On 7/9/11, Jeter obtained his 3000th hit after hitting a home run. He is the 28th player to do so, and first Yankee.
Jeter also gave a memorable speech to close out Yankees Stadium in 2008
My favorite commercial from my childhood, still gives me chills.