A day to remember for Mr. November
At this point in their history, there is not that much that hasen’t been done in a Yankee uniform. Records have been set, records have been broken and most stones have been unturned. But yesterday, history was made. Derek Jeter, the third captain in the team’s history, became the first person to reach 3,000 hits as a Yankee. To make the moment even sweeter, he was able to do it at Yankee stadium; in front of the hometown fans that hold him in such high regard.
At times, this season and last, it has seemed like the Jeter of old was nothing but a memory. But when push came to shove, Derek did what he does best: came through in the clutch. Going into the game, Jeter had only 2 home runs. What does the man do? He blasts a 422-footer, becoming only the 2nd man to ever reach 3,000 with a home run. Not only that, he does it off of a division rival’s ace (David Price). For good measure, he also went 5-5 in the game and drove in the winning run. It is only fitting that when Jeter reaches his big moment, he does it in such a fashion that any Yankee fan can appreciate: big.
It is also fitting that Jeter played it off as if wasn’t a big deal. He went as far as to say he felt bad that the game was delayed due to the celebration that ensued. Ever the epitome of modesty, even in his shining moment Jeter was humble. It is impossible not to cheer for this guy. Even the opposing Tampa Bay Rays players applauded the man as he rounded the bases. He has been the model of consistency during his career, the model of professionalism. And even when it would have been acceptable for him to celebrate extensively. Jeter played it cool, maintaining the same level of calm, collected, professionalism he has had throughout his career.
In the world of baseball, it is easy to hate the Bronx bombers. But Jeter is the antithesis of all they despise. He is home grown, developed in-house. He grew up a Yankees fan. He’s humble and puts exactly what he should above all else: his team. He also isn’t some hot shot, who may fizzle. He has been the model of consistency, with 12 all-star appearances and 5 Gold Gloves to show for it. While his critics have grown ever louder as of late, and his slump in production has done nothing but feed the fodder; fans need not worry. The former World Series MVP also has 5 World series rings and knows the most important fact: Yankees baseball doesn’t even really begin for a few more months. And that is the time where his star shines the brightest.
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