The Captain is officially done with the game of baseball.
On Sunday, August 28th, Derek Jeter played the last game of his Hall of Fame worthy career. After two decades of suiting up in the Yankee pinstripes, Jeter’s career came to an end in earnest before his rivalry team’s home crowd in Boston. But there weren’t any jeers or boos towards Jeter as he had experienced throughout his career in one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports. Instead, there was nothing but cheers and appreciation for one of the all-time greats to ever play the game of baseball.
Known as Mr. November, Jeter, who spent most of his early life growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, had one of the most decorated careers of anybody to ever play professional baseball. Just to name a few of his achievements, because there are a lot, Jeter accomplished the following over the span of his career:
Five-time World Series winner
Five-time Gold Glove winner
As a shortstop, he finished his career with a .310 batting average, nearly 3,500 hits and 260 homeruns. Those stats and accomplishments alone make him one of the greatest to ever play his position, as countless baseball analysts have made clear. But Jeter was much more than just a great ball player. Off the field, he was just as solid.
During the span of his two decade long career, Jeter ingratiated himself with several philanthropic efforts, including his own organization that he started 18 years ago, the Turn 2 Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting positive lifestyles and helping young kids and adolescents avoid alcohol and drug use. His organization has raised millions of dollars in grants for programs in the three cities that the program functions in: New York, his hometown and Tampa Bay. Jeter has also been involved with a website that’s mission is to help get kids involved in sports.
Throughout his career, Jeter did an exceptional job of avoiding negative publicity in one of the world’s biggest markets, New York City. In an age where steroids ran rampant, Jeter was never suspected of taking performance enhancing drugs to boost his play. Instead, his results on the field were credited to great preparation, great skill and great determination. Jeter’s greatness on and off the field is what makes people appreciate him that much more, especially in today’s day and age where athletes are getting in trouble left and right for just about any reason that you can think of. In 20 years, Jeter managed to dodge any significant pitfalls, which is to be commended.
Now that he’s done with the game of baseball, only Jeter really knows what awaits him. Obviously, a trip to the Hall of Fame is sure to come as soon as Jeter becomes eligible. But will we see him become a broadcaster or an analyst, or stick around the game in some form or fashion? Nobody really knows.
Whatever Mr. Jeter decides to do though, he will probably do it with class and dignity, just as he played the game with right up until the very end.
Photo Source: Nypost.com