Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer –
Eighteen years later and the man occupying that space between third and second base for the New York Yankees is still getting it done. That’s right, the ageless Derek Jeter has proved yet again why one day he’s a sure first ballot hall-of-famer.
Thirteen all-star games, five gold gloves, a rookie of the year award, and let’s not forget to mention, five world series rings—Jeter is continuing his illustrious career in a dominating fashion. From his rookie season back in 1996 until present day, Jeter hasn’t missed a beat. A career batting average of .314, 255 homeruns, and 3290 hits, only proves why he’s a dominating force to be reckoned with on the baseball field.
Lets us be nostalgic Yankee fans and reminisce about a notorious past. Game four of the 2001 World Series. Jeter came up to the plate in the bottom of the tenth inning and delivered a homerun in walk-off fashion to propel the Yankees to a victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. This legendary game earned him the nickname “Mr. November,” a name that has followed him ever since. How about that diving catch against the Red Sox, when Jeter sacrificed his body and flew into the stands, leaving him bloodied? “Captain Clutch,” his second nickname, has done nothing but live up to the hype.
By far the most memorable moment picked from an endless list has to be when Jeter yet again made another nickname for himself, “Mr. 3000.” July 9, 2011, with Yankee history on the line, Jeter drove a ball into the left field stands. He stood alone that day as the only Yankee in the history of the renowned franchise to ever accumulate 3000 hits and to do that with one team is truly remarkable.
Now 38 years old, Jeter is in the middle of a pennant race against the Baltimore Orioles. His team leading .323 batting average is assisting them in lingering atop the American League East standings. Regardless of acquiring a sixth World Series ring or not, Jeter has left an imprint in every Yankee fan’s memory. The bottom line is, he’s been the most consistent player on the team for the past decade. Among the speculation and scrutiny of his performance failing because of his age, Jeter has continued to prove his critics wrong. He’s like the Tim Tebow of Major League Baseball. Well, maybe not in a spiritual way but certainly in the way of determination.
There’s no giving up or second place. Grinding games out to the very end, even if that means tweaking a hamstring attempting to reach base safely on a softly hit groundball to the second basemen, the guy is constantly putting in strong efforts. It’s no wonder why he’s a role model to the youth baseball society. And if there’s one player any child growing up should emulate, it’s number two.
Everything that Jeter has accomplished throughout the years proves why he deserves to be considered one of the greatest Yankees to ever play.