Thank You Derek Jeter
It’s been an incredible baseball season. Who knew the Royals would be this good? That the Tigers with 3 former Cy Young winners would be watching the World Series at home with us. The toughest part of this season, has been watching Derek Jeter take his final at-bats for the Yankees. We may never see a player of Jeter’s character and capabilities in our lifetime. So I just wanted to share an open letter to the Yankee Captain.
When I first started watching the Yankees, you weren’t on the team. Don Mattingly was the heart and soul of the Yankees, and the team was learning to win again. But I did notice the young shortstop that was being brought along, mainly because we’re the same age. Contemporaries in sport [college, then professional basketball for me]. I’ve watched you grow into the leader and Captain of sports’ most storied franchise, leading the Yankees to 5 championships. For the past 20 years, you’ve willed this team to win, and put in 110% every time on the field. More importantly, you kept the story focused on your baseball, and not on your personal life. You set the example for how an athlete should carry himself in this age of the 24-hour news cycle. You’ve been a shining example for fathers across the country to show their sons the right way to play the game the right way. You made us believe a New York sports team can have a parade down the Canyon of Heroes every single year that. Thank you for fighting to come back so you could leave on your own terms.
I cried after the last game at Yankee stadium. And what a game it was! Driving in the game winning run with a single to right field pretty much summed up your career: Clutch in the big moments. Back to the end of the game. I cried when Jorge, Bernie, Mo, Joe and Andy came out to greet you. I’m starting to choke up now just remembering that moment. It represented the end of a great era for the Yankees, a great era for New York sports. But it also represented the end of my childhood. Yes, I had Doc and Straw and Don & Winfield, as my sports heroes, but this is different. It’s really closing the door on my youth. Remembering the comeback against the Braves, The Flip, The Subway Series, and the devastating loss to the Diamondbacks in ’01, being at the parade down the Canyon of Heroes in ’09. It felt like you would be a Yankee forever, play forever, be forever young.
I hope you find a personal joy in the next chapter of your life. Having given so much to us now is the time for you to be selfish. Travel, start businesses, catch up on Scandal, BBQ in the summer! But most importantly, relax. You’ve earned it.