Edited by: Tommy Parrill (@Dear Tommy)
If any of you know me, it is obvious that I am in no way a fan of the New York Yankees. But since I am a fan of America’s pastime, and I listen to suggestion. I've decided to devote a little time to one of the most respected baseball players of all-time.
On May 29, 1995, a 20 year-old kid named Derek Jeter made his major league debut with the New York Yankees and has never looked back. With his 13 All-Star Game appearances, 5 Gold Glove Awards and 5 World Series rings, Jeter has cemented himself as a true legend in New York. No matter how he is viewed in the Bronx, it is the rest of baseball, and its fans that see #2 for who he really is. Derek Jeter is a ball player of the past, playing in the present.
From the time the Yankees selected Jeter in the 1992 draft, Jeter has been a Yankee. He worked his way up through the minors until 1995 when he got his first crack at the big leagues and has represented those pinstripes as good as anyone I have ever seen. Unlike the olden days of the game, so many guys now-a-days seem to enjoy testing the market so they can get the biggest contract that they can, but not Jeter. Granted, money has never been an issue for the Yankees and they are consistently good, but that still says something about his character. Jeter has always signed a contract extension or re-signed with the Yankees, and sometimes even taken less money to help the team reload if needed. A guy that continues to stick with the team in the highest of highs and lowest of lows, shows his trust and loyalty to the Yankees organization. That’s the kind of guy that I want on my team.
If there is one way that Jeter resembles the baseball legends of old is simply one thing, his stamina. In today’s game, players continuously sit out with a sprained knee or even a hang nail, and I swear that has happened before. I know, pathetic, but not too often will you see Jeter take a seat. For the last 18 years, #2 has weathered the grind of countless 162-game seasons, and with his hustle and style of play, Jeter has changed the short-stop position. From pulled muscles to broken bones, Jeter continues to suit up. There is only one game that I can remember him not playing, and it was one that I was at. On July 2, 2004, the Yankees traveled to Cleveland to take on the Indians, and I had tickets. I was all excited to finally watch Derek Jeter play in person, but the night before, he dove into the stands to catch a foul ball against the Red Sox’s, bloodied up his face and cracked a few bones. At the time, I was pissed that I didn’t get to see Jeter play, but looking back on it, he deserved a day off after hustling his ass off the night before. What I am saying is, I forgive you Derek Jeter.
Like I said before, I am not a Yankee’s fan, but I sure do respect Derek Jeter. Not necessarily for his World Series rings or his Gold Gloves, but more for the kind of player that he represents. One that will die in his pinstripes and give it his all even after the final out. This one is for the Yankees.