An organization with such a deep history, and so rich in success; is created both by the individuals up top, and those on the field. The New York Yankees are still the definition of success within their sport, and among all sports for that matter. With such a long and storied tradition, many players have permanently left their footprints on the Yankees organization, and throughout all of baseball. These legendary players have embraced, and won with the Yankees way. Always playing the game the right way, and with such precision.
I do believe there is a difference between great players, and legends of the game; those who are legends become hovering ghosts around the game of baseball with their presence never forgotten. In 2014 we will have the ultimate pleasure as baseball fans, as we get to witness a farewell tour for a Yankee, and baseball legend, shortstop Derek Jeter. With so many phenomenal players in baseball wearing pinstripes, a lot of the best are remembered by a simple nickname. Trying to name as many as possible in 7 seconds, we arrive at a few obvious names:. The Iron horse (Lou Gehrig), MR. October (Reggie Jackson), The Yankee Clipper, Joltin Joe (Joe DiMaggio), The Sandman (Mariano Rivera), and The Babe (George Herman Ruth). The next legendary player to hang up the spikes at the end of 2014, is “The Captain”, Jeter.
Trying to decide between the nicknames the Captain, or Mr. November, was difficult, simply because those two names alone leave you with two of the greatest memories in Jeters career. He was coined Mr. November after he hit a world series game winning home run shortly after midnight on November 1st. The reason I chose to run with the captain is because the Yankees would later lose that World Series. The captain is much more fitting because of the pure leadership Jeter has exhibited over his spectacular career. The play that comes to my mind most when thinking of the captain was the flip play against the Oakland Athletics in the 2001 postseason. The pure instinct, awareness, and drive he demonstrated to get to a ball thrown from right field towards home plate, despite no chance to make is hard to match. In fact, Jeter not only got to that ball, but flipped it to the catcher Jorge Posada just in time to save a run. A truly magical moment that sums up Jeter in one play; an individual that would do absolutely whatever it takes to simply help his team win.
We as baseball fans have the absolute pleasure of watching Jeter make a true comeback from injury, while at the same time making a farewell tour with one last season of “Jeter” like moments. The Superstar shortstop holds a career average of .312 from the plate, and a ridiculous lifetime full of defensive plays. Jeter, the captain within an organization full of leaders, has shown he has a thing for the dramatic as his career 3,000th hit, was a home run.
I wonder if he has any magic at the plate left. Within the great organization of baseball, Jeter is ultimately the greatest Yankee. The captain has been quoted saying above all else, he wants to be “remembered as a Yankee”. Jeter holds too many awards to mention. The captain has five World Series rings and has less than 158 regular season games to leave yet another footprint on baseball history.
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