5 Reasons MLB Will Miss Derek Jeter When He Retires
MLB and Baseball Fans Will Miss Derek Jeter
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter announced on Facebook that the 2014 MLB season, his 20th, will be his last. Some feel MLB is losing the face of its sport while others feel baseball cannot have a “face.” I can see both sides. On the one hand, Jeter is probably the most recognized person in baseball and has been for a number of years. On the other hand, can anyone, even Jeter, be the face of a sport? While I understand both arguments I agree with the latter, but MLB will still miss Jeter when he’s gone.
I am a diehard and lifelong Red Sox fan therefore I have hated the rival Yankees for basically my entire life. I have always rooted against the Yankees, unless a win by the Yankees would help the Red Sox, and even then I wouldn’t root for the Yankees; I would root against the team the Yankees were playing. That being said, even I have nothing negative to say about Jeter. The only reason I have always rooted against Derek is because he has worn pinstripes his entire career.
There is no doubt that Jeter will be in the Hall of Fame one day (he’s eligible in 2020), and he should be in on the first ballot. Jeter is 10th all-time (first among Yankees) with 3,316 hits and is the Yankees’ all-time leader in games (2,602), at-bats (10,614) and stolen bases (348). His ranks among shortstops? Jeter ranks first in runs (1,876), third in home runs (256), fourth in doubles (525), seventh in RBIs (1,261) and fourth in batting average (.312). Jeter has won five World Series Championships (one as a rookie).
In addition to the statistics, Jeter had intangibles too, including class, leadership and his hustle on every single play. Not every baseball player or pro athlete in any sport has all of those qualities.
While there is little doubt that baseball will move on and not decrease in popularity after Jeter’s final season, MLB will still miss him.
Here are five reasons MLB will miss Jeter once he retires.
Justin Patrick is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @calling_allfans, like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.
5. Played His Entire Career With One Team
It is almost unheard of that any athlete will play their entire career with one team, but Jeter did—for 20 seasons. Baseball will miss having such a popular player being associated with one of the most popular teams in their sport.
4. Always Been A Class Act
Even as a Red Sox fan I have to admit that Jeter has always handled himself with class, and MLB will miss having such an ambassador to the game.
3. Never Been A Distraction
It seems today so many athletes end up being a distraction to their team and/or sport. Jeter never was. Somehow Jeter managed to keep his relationships to high profile celebrities fairly quiet. That’s almost impossible to do, but somehow Jeter did it. He never took focus away from his team. He wanted to win and that was what mattered to him. If Jeter was in the news it was usually for the right reasons, and baseball will miss that.
2. Has Always Played The Game Hard
While Jeter could make some plays look easier than most players, there is no doubt he played the game hard. Even though I hate the Yankees and I have always pulled for the Red Sox, it was always fun to watch Jeter play. Do you remember the play Jeter made in Game 3 of the 2001 ALCS? The Yankees were playing the Oakland Athletics and the ball was hit to right field. Jason Giambi rounded third and headed for home. The throw from right field was off line and missed the cut off man. Jeter hustled from shortstop, fielded the throw on the other side of the first base line and flipped it to Yankees catcher Jorge Posada who tagged Giambi out. How about in 2004 when Jeter dove into the stands in the top of the 12th inning against the Red Sox (good thing he’s retiring!) and made an incredible catch? Jeter always played hard, and baseball will miss that.
1. Played The Game Clean
The steroid era was right in the middle of Jeter’s career, and while many players made fans wonder if they were using, Jeter never did. His success is the result of talent and hard work. That’s it—Jeter didn’t take any shortcuts, and that has to be respected by everyone in baseball.