As evidenced by my most recent posts, I’ve decided to branch out and discuss a wider range of topics related to books, publishing, reading, and writing. Well, I’m going to continue that trend and start a series of posts on one Saturday a month to discuss a topic that is unrelated to any of the above topics. After all, there’s more to me than books. (But not much) This will be the first and it will have a baseball theme to it.
Derek Jeter announced this week that the upcoming baseball season will be his last. You might be wondering why this is significant. Well, Derek Jeter will be a first ballot hall of famer when he becomes eligible. There’s no doubt about it. For those of you non-sports watchers, a first ballot hall of famer is when the player is elected in his first year on the ballot. This year there were three such players elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but it doesn’t happen often.
I’m only 22 and Derek Jeter has played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball. I have literally grown up watching him play. It doesn’t matter that I’m not a Yankees fan, I’m a baseball fan above all else and Derek Jeter has been the face of the game for nearly two decades. He’s played in a whopping seven World Series! Seven! Five of those times the Yankees came out on top, losing in 2001 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in one of the great sports moments of the last 15 years, and in 2003 to the Florida Marlins.
To put it into perspective what he’s meant to the game I’ll give you what I think is a perfect comparison. The NFL is king in America. The Super Bowl seemingly breaks its own viewership records each year. Well, Tom Brady has been the face of the league over the last decade or so. He’s played in five Super Bowls and won three. He’s constantly in the discussion of being one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. While Jeter isn’t necessarily in that particular conversation when it comes to baseball, it’s hard to argue against him when he’s compared to players of his era. And he is in that conversation when it comes to the Yankees organization, which is far and away the most prolific we’ve ever had in baseball history.
I’m not going to get into his stats because I can tell you that they are representative of his GREAT career. I will, however, suggest that you take a look at this article published by CBS Sports that ranks him based on his numbers among the greatest shortstops ever. I’d also recommend you read this article published on Forbes that discusses Jeter as the player of his generation.
It’s been great watching you play, Mr. Jeter. Absolutely great.