Written by: Tommy Parrill (@DearTommy)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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Now, let me explain. To me, Derek Jeter is more than a player. He is more than his team's all-time hits leader, five-time Gold Glove and Silver Slugger recipient. He is even more than arguably being the most recognized baseball player ever. Derek Jeter is an icon of the game, that at one point, all little league shortstops wanted to be.
He is someone who plays the game with grace, dignity, and most importantly, for his team. I recognize that he has not had the most illustrious final season. He may not have hit the ball every at-bat, and heaven forbid the man make an error; yet due to these things, some people say he should have retired when he started to decline this year. These people do not understand the concept of a team player.
When LeBron left Cleveland, in-between seasons, he was marked as a quitter, a traitor. But you want Jeter to quit mid-season?! Derek Jeter has been in the Yankee system since 1992. A system that he has loved, devoted his career and life to, celebrated with, mourned with, and you're telling me that he needs to "walk away"?
Derek Jeter is looked up to, admired by and adored by millions of children, adults, and current and former players alike worldwide. I'm sure that he wants their last memory of him to be "Well, I didn’t do so well in a couple of games, guess I should call it a day."
Derek Jeter is not a baseball player. He is much more than that. He is someone to look up to, someone that embodies the name 'Captain' and someone that will be dearly missed, not only by the New York Yankees, but also by all of baseball.
And to the reporters saying he should have hung it up at the first sign of decline… those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. But those who can do neither, hate on the one's that can.