The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

RE2PECT: Jeter rides off into sunset after highlight-filled career

Number 2. He played 19 years for one of the most respected sports franchises in the world, the New York Yankees. Names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle made themselves the cornerstones of Yankee greatness. But another name joins these baseball legends. The name is Jeter.
Derek Jeter played his last game in the Bronx on Sept. 25. In typical Jeter fashion, he ended his illustrious career in New York with a walk-off single to right field, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 6-5. Jeter added something to the game that nobody else was able to do in the modern era. To further understand this, let’s take a closer look into the legacy of one of the greatest shortstops of all time.
Derek Jeter was born on June 26, 1974 in Pequannock, N.J. At the age of four, the Jeter family moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., and Jeter attended Kalamazoo Central High School. There he found his love and skill for the game of baseball and received notable recognition for his talent. He was named the 1992 High School Player of the Year, the Gatorade High School Player of the Year and USA Today’s High School Player of the Year.
The University of Michigan offered him a full scholarship to play baseball his senior year of high school, but Jeter had other plans. The Houston Astros had the first pick in the 1992 Major League Draft and were seriously considering Jeter. Due to financial unrest, Jeter fell in the draft to number six. A scout from the Yankees organization watched Jeter play in an all-star camp in previous years. He stated, “The only place Derek Jeter’s going is to Cooperstown.”
Jeter began his major league career in 1995. He did not have a hot start by any means, but showed enough potential on the field to convince Manager Joe Torre to put him in the starting lineup in 1996. He was the first rookie to start at shortstop for the Yankees since 1962. A famous Jeter moment took place in the 1996 American League Championship Series against the Baltimore Orioles when a young fan reached out over the right field fence and caught Jeter’s “homerun.” The right fielder clearly had a glove on it until this fan gave Derek Jeter his first postseason homerun to tie the game late in the 8th inning. The Yankees would go on to win the 1996 World Series against the Atlanta Braves.
Jeter’s most iconic play came in the 2001 AL Division Series. In Game 3 against the Oakland Athletics, Jeter went out of his position to stop the runner from scoring. He cut off the ball at the plate and flipped it to home plate, getting him out. This play will forever be known as “The Flip.”
Jeter was finally named captain and assumed the ultimate leadership position in 2003. However, that same year, one team stood between him and another World Series title: the Boston Red Sox. The historic rivalry was rekindled in the ALCS. This was Jeter’s first experience as a Yankee involved in a brawl. This brawl was famous for Pedro Martinez throwing Yankee legend Don Zimmer to the ground.
The following year, Yankee teammate Alex Rodriguez was struck in the face by Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. In the 2004 ALCS, Jeter made an unbelievable catch in foul territory, coined “The Dive.” It was one of his best plays of his career. Unfortunately for Jeter, 2004 was the year the Boston Red Sox broke an 86-year curse and won the World Series.
Jeter’s greatest accomplishments stretched from his first day in the MLB to his last at bat. His greatest accomplishment was reaching 3,000 hits through the course of his career, putting him in the top 10 all time. He was named an AL All-Star 14 times, was a five-time Gold Glove Award Winner and was the recipient of the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.
Was it his leadership qualities he possessed on and off the field? Was it his competitive nature? His charm? Or was it his mere skill? Derek Jeter offered much more than a glove and a bat to the New York Yankees. I noticed the Nike Air Jordan label made a commercial for the Captain a few weeks ago. The only appropriate way to praise Derek Jeter is not by answering my previous questions, but simply without words. In the commercial, people from a variety of different backgrounds are tipping their hats to him in respect. From Mayor Giuliani, to Jay-Z, to the New York Fire Dept., to the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, to even Red Sox fans. Bottom line, all you can do is respect Derek Jeter. Number 2 will always be RE2PECTED.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
RE2PECT: Jeter rides off into sunset after highlight-filled career