Did you see the end of the Baltimore – New York Yankees game? Derek Jeter, in his last game at the Yankee Stadium, drove in the game winning run with a base hit.
I thought, what if the Baltimore pitcher walked Jeter instead of serving him up something to hit? It wasn’t like they had to pitch to him.
Are we participating in the Derek Jeter love fest? Of course not. Derek Jeter is a New York Yankee. Derek Jeter is a middle infielder. The Yankees and their promotion machine make me ill.
But Derek Jeter is an elegant player. I’m not sure if that’s a good way to put it, but he’s what you aspire to be if you’re a major league baseball player. That’s saying a lot because professional athletes don’t admire other professional athletes. His personal life didn’t matter to me; mostly because he didn’t become infamous off the field. Unlike most NYY superstars, he played his entire, lengthy career with the team. He has stacked big numbers with that team. Think about it: Even all-time NYY greats like Joe DiMaggio had relatively short careers. Babe Ruth played for the Boston Braves at the end of his career. A lot is made of the fact Jeter has over 3,000 hits. He’s the only Yankee to ever have done that. Think about it, a team with that many Hall-of-Famers, legends of the game, and none of them had 3,000 hits with that team.
Jeter never got thrown out of any of his 2,743 regular season major league baseball games. And that’s not an NBA-style Wilt Chamberlain record, where he was fouling like mad. Jeter has legitimate numbers, not from some overwhelming talent but an amazing consistency. His numbers this year look like a shortstop’s. BSP respects that, much more than media accolades pouring in for him.
One last thing about Jeter: BSP thinks his career went long. One way we look at that is, while Jeter played past his prime and another player could have helped that team more, he honored his final contract, completely. It wasn’t like he was making veteran minimum but it’s nice he signed a contract and stayed with it through to the end.