Derek Jeter: A Class Act

Jeter salutes the Yankee fans after hit #2,721, which tied him with Lou Gehrig as the team’s all-time hit leader.

Jeter salutes the Yankee fans after hit #2,721, which tied him with Lou Gehrig as the team’s all-time hit leader.

It was easy to hate Derek Jeter. To me, as a young Baltimore Orioles fan in 1996, he was the bum who hit the ball that Jeffrey Maier caught and was ruled a homer. He was the clutch, confident shortstop who won 4 World Series in 5 years. And of course he played for the Yankees, which was reason enough to hate his guts.

But over the past few years, I have come to appreciate what this guy has done, and more importantly, what he stands for. I remember a couple of seasons ago; I attended an Orioles-Yankees game at Camden Yards in the middle of the summer. So Jeter comes up to bat in the 3rd or 4th inning. I don’t remember the situation exactly, but it wasn’t anything special. I doubt anyone was on base and I’m sure the Yanks were probably already well ahead. He hits a routine grounder to short, and I watched as he ran that ball out as if it was the 9th inning in Game 7 of the World Series. He was easily out, but I will never forget that moment. And you know what? Anytime I ever get a chance to see one of his games, whether on TV or in person, I watch him hustle on every ground ball, every pop out, and every line drive. It says a lot when you have the face of the franchise, the superstar, still doing the fundamentals right. Still giving 100% on every single play.

The guy is carries himself with dignity, treats the media and fans with respect, and has become the epitome of what kind of player you want when all you want to do is WIN. I hope more people realize just how special of player he is and enjoy him while he still has a few good years left. Because once he is retired, it will be a long, long time before we see anyone even remotely like him again. That’s why I’m so happy for him right now as he stands alongside Lou Gehrig as the Yankee’s all-time hit leader. He and the Yanks host the Orioles this weekend. To me that is so fitting. I’m glad he will surpass the Iron Horse against the Orioles, that way I can tune into the lovely Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and see it happen live.


1 Response to “Derek Jeter: A Class Act”

  1. 1 Eric September 11, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Will I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Of course as O’s fans we have to hate the Yanks but Jeter is a special kind of player and I’m right there with you when you talk about how great he is. Keep up the great work man!

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