By Maddy Lewis
Major League Baseball recently lost one of the greatest ever to step on field and play the game for as long as it has been in existence. The shortstop and team captain of the New York Yankees played his last game in pinstripes on Sept. 28 and departed from the MLB as a future hall-of-famer with no doubt.
Derek Jeter, a part of the professional organization for 20 years, brought more than just competition, skill and excitement to the game, but also a sense of inspiration for others to follow.
Jeter was an extremely rare competitor who touched the hearts of his fans, teammates, coaches and even opponents. He discovered a way to participate at the top of his game every season, while remaining a stand-up guy off the field as well.
Born in the small town of Pequannock, New Jersey on June 26, 1974, Jeter had visions of competing in The Show from the very beginning. He clearly stood out as an all-around athlete with tremendous work ethic during his high school career, conquering numerous awards for both basketball and baseball. Jeter was later drafted by the Yankees in 1992, where he made his debut in the MLB just four years later and stayed loyal to the Bronx for the rest of his career.
Jeter established himself as the face of the Yankees, contributing to five World Series rings and currently holding the all-time hit record for the organization. The young man represents the ideal player ever coach craves to train. He is an extremely unique multi millionaire, especially with his ability to handle the non-stop media attention received with every step he takes.
Although Jeter played during an era when many of his peers were caught illegally injecting steroids, he avoided the pressure to use banned substances. Due to his loyal behavior towards baseball, my respect for the middle infielder continued to increase. He developed a remarkable reputation with his confidence and talent, but most importantly managed to keep his personal life separate from his occupation.
Jeter’s classy style and demeanor caught the attention of many popular brand names as he aired in a diversity of TV commercials throughout his course in the MLB. Because he was appreciated by roughly the entire country, the commercials guaranteed success for the company’s product.
As a shortstop and Jeter fan myself, I carefully observed his techniques and often tried to mimic his fluidity on the field. Growing up, I demanded to wear number two for any team I played on. I yearned for Jeter’s number in hopes of feeling a connection between my favorite player of all time.
Jeter demonstrated a serious love of the game and will certainly be missed by the Yankees as well as his admirers across the nation. He left the Bronx in tears of both joy and sorrow as he led the Yankees to a walk-off win during his last at-bat in Yankee Stadium.