Photo Credit: Mike Ashmore
By: Megan Roche
When one thinks of number 2 in baseball, most minds immediately head toward famed short stop Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees. On January 21, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Jeter will now be enshrined at Cooperstown forever.
Jeter was born in Pequannock and lived in the New Jersey area until he was four. After moving to Michigan, he became involved in the sport of baseball and never looked back. He played baseball for Kalamazoo Central High School and for the University of Michigan, on a full baseball scholarship.
Jeter was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1992 as the sixth overall pick. Over the course of his 20 year career in the MLB, Jeter was able to cash in on some major awards, picking up Rookie of the Year, 5x Silver Slugger, All Star Game MVP, World Series MVP, 5x Gold Glove winner, and a 14x all star, among many others. His career came to a close on Sept. 28, 2014 at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.
“Every accolade that has been bestowed on Derek throughout his career has been earned and deserved. He was a captain and champion in every sense of the word, a man who embodied our traditions and expectations with an unmistakable grace and dignified resolve. Derek’s legacy as one of the most beloved and charitable players in the last quarter century cements his place in baseball history. As he is immortalized in Cooperstown this summer, we proudly reflect on the honor he brought the Yankees franchise, the New York community, and the great game of baseball.” Yankees Managing General Partner, Hal Steinbrenner, said in a press release.
Congratulations poured in from around the league, from former teammates, coaches, managers, and even rivals.
“It’s going to be a very special day standing next to Derek in Cooperstown this summer. He had such a deep desire to win, and that singular commitment to his team is what made him so special. Derek prided himself on being a consistent presence. No moment was too big. He was fearless, and he was the type of leader we knew we could count on year after year. I feel so fortunate that he was a teammate and friend for my entire career, and I congratulate him on this great honor.” Hall of Famer and former teammate, Mariano Rivera, said in a statement.
“Derek has done everything that a baseball player should do. He played the game the right way. He played the game to win. He played the game with no excuses. I saw it from day one — I thought he would be a Hall of Famer. Congratulations, Derek, you deserve it.” Former teammate, Jorge Posada, said in a press release.
During the press conference that was hosted by the Hall of Fame, Jeter discussed how playing baseball is all he ever wanted to do, the Hall of Fame far from his mind.
“This is something that is not a part of the dream when you are playing. When you are playing, and you are just trying to keep your job, that’s first and foremost, and you are trying to compete year in and year out, and trying to win, and when your career is over and done with, then it’s up to the writers.” Jeter said.
While he is no longer playing baseball, he now sits as the Chief Executive Officer of the MLB’s Miami Marlins franchise, where he oversees day to day operations of the team. He also is involved in numerous philanthropic efforts, including his own Turn2 Foundation which helps children and teens avoid drug and alcohol abuse, but honors those with high academic achievements as well.
Jeter was selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America with 396 out of 397 votes, an almost unanimous decision. Jeter’s enshrinement in the coveted Baseball Hall of Fame will take place during Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown, slated for July 24-27. More information on induction weekend and the Hall of Fame can be found at www.baseballhall.org.