As a fan of baseball, today was one of those days that we can tell our grandkids about… Today was the last day Derek Jeter played shortstop for the Yankees. And in typical “Jeterian” fashion, he created an indelible memory that makes the Jeter legend even greater… A game winning hit in his last at bat at New Yankee Stadium…
I can’t honestly say I was a Derek Jeter fan, but without question, I respected the hell out of the man. He played baseball the right way; he made all the RIGHT plays and despite his limitations later in his career, he did whatever it took to win. Despite playing in the biggest fishbowl (New York) he managed to stay out of the tabloids and maintained infallibility during the steriod era despite many of his contemporaties and even teammates (ahem, Alex “Roid”riguez) either admitting guilt or being found using PEDs.
A lot of talk has been made recently via local and national sports talk radio about how good Derek Jeter was. I don’t think is in the pantheon of Hank Aarons, Babe Ruths, or Ted Williams of the baseball world… Not top 50… maybe not even top 100 of all time… But honestly, when you’re talking about over a hundred years of history, you can’t say it’s a slap in the face to say that. Perhaps he’s in the top 10 all time of shortstops… and arguably in the top 10 of Yankee greats. Did he deserve all of the hoopla and sentiment? I think so… He was this generation’s ambassador to baseball… the transition from the great Cal Ripken and the 80’s generation to the 90’s. He seemed like a genuinely good guy.
Who will pick up the mantle and fill the shoes that Derek Jeter leaves vacant?
For me, I think it will be Mike Trout. He seems to have the deference to the games and the greats that preceded him and seems to understand what it takes to be great. Well, I guess we’ll find out…
That Nike commercial kinda sums it up best for me