My favorite team is the Chicago Cubs. But as a young lad, I won a Little League World Series as a member of the Yankees (but substitute Skokie for New York). So I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart from the Bronx Bombers. As a baseball fan, Derek Jeter is everything that is right about the game I love.
Playing in New York City can be the most difficult proposition in sports. Even the greatest of athletes have a difficult time endearing themselves to the fans. Jeter is the one athlete in The Big Apple that never has a bad word uttered about him or his persona. It really speaks to the type of player and person he is both on and off the field. In the great history and tradition of the Yankees, Jeter may stand as the greatest Bronx Bomber of all time.
When Jeter injured his ankle in the third inning of game one of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, it was the second blow to the Yankees. Along with fellow injured teammate Mariano Rivera, fans lost arguably the two greatest post-season players of all time. Seeing the Yankees in the post season without Jeter or Rivera is like eating pizza without cheese. Something just doesn’t seem right.
So why as a Cubs fans am I writing this article? Because I am in awe of Jeter. Here is a guy that wins. He plays the game with such grace I enjoy everything about him. Meanwhile, the Cubs never seem to find guys like Jeter. Sure, there are guys that produce better numbers (not many), but Jeter is the best baseball player I’ve ever seen. While he has Hall of Fame numbers, there’s no one I’ve ever seen that plays the game so right and is so perfect. When most guys begin to decline, Jeter continues to play the game at the highest level. When the day comes he decides to stop playing, we are losing a true hero.
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