Ending a 20-year career with the most popular baseball team had to be a hard sell for Derek Jeter.
While some fans might think it wouldn’t be such a hard life hitting a ball for a living, the scrutiny that comes along with his notoriety must be a world of pressure.
After becoming the Yankee’s all-time leader in hits, doubles, games played, stolen bases, times on base, plate appearances, and at bats, it’d be hard for anyone to argue he was probably the last of great Yankees we’ll see in a long time.
I’m voting that Derek Jeter, the former Yankee captain and shortstop, is a unanimous first ballot Hall of Famer.
As a Yankees fan, people saw class and playing with heart personified when the captain would take his spot in the infield and stepped up to bat.
He always had skills good enough to be a professional baseball player but he wasn’t the greatest hitter, fielder, or any exceptional skills. However, Jeter always brought leadership, effort, and a certain confidence when he wore the Yankee stripes.
In a time when players always go for the biggest payday and change teams almost every new contract, Jeter stayed with the same team his entire career.
It’s pretty impressive when you see how the Yankees are quick to pay talent but almost just as quickly will get rid of a player who isn’t earning the record contract they signed in the offseason.
He didn’t only play well enough for a high profile team for his entire career but upgraded of what a fan expects from their favorite ballplayer.
Especially at a time where it seems every great player in the past 30 years was taking steroids, Jeter never succumbed to what was popular during his time in the league and decided to play clean his entire career.
He was the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits in MLB history and also earned 14 All-Star selections, five Gold Gloves, five Silver Slugger awards, five World Championships, two Hank Aaron awards and a Roberto Clemente award.
At the end of his career, Jeter left all baseball fans wondering who’d be the next face of baseball.
As a Yankee fan, I find myself blessed to be able to witness one of the greatest Yankees of all time. He left as the MLB leader in hits by a shortstop and was sixth all-time in career hits.
Despite the accolades he received, the plays he left us with – “the flip,” for example – are what made him great.
The baseball world is left with great memories, and we all wait for his acceptance into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.