Derek Jeter is more than just the face of the New York Yankees, he IS the face of baseball as a whole. The fact that everyone, and I mean everyone, who plays with or against him respects and admires him is a testament to how he conducts himself on and off the field. During a time when baseballs reputation has been smeared and tainted by steroids, Jeter has remained as he’s always been: the symbol of everything that is right and pure about baseball.
That’s why if there is only 1 thing you do this season it should be to take your kids to a Yankee game and see him play. His retirement is a bigger loss than anyone realizes, it is truly the end of an era. When he leaves the game, he is not just walking off the field, he is taking the sports last bit of integrity with him. These days no player is exempt from suspicion of steroid use- except for Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter has never been associated with this scandal-because he EARNED that distinction.
Since he stepped on the field with the Yankees in 1996 he has always played %100 on the field and been a picture of virtue off it. Who will ever forget how he dove into the stands to catch a foul ball an came up with a bloody face AND the ball? That play is just ONE example of how hard he played every day. He is the perfect role model for young kids everywhere; his hard work ad dedication shows kids success is not just possible, but probable.
As a baseball fan its been disheartening to watch my favorite sport’s legitimacy come into question (and rightfully so) over and over again. Most of baseballs top record are seen as tainted or questionable, and sadly I agree with that way of thinking. When I think of Hank Aaron and how he was ridiculed and ostracized for nabbing the all-time home run record because of his color it infuriates me that players have sullied the sport with their dirty style of play.
That’s why I’m going to a game this season. Players like Jeter come around once in a life-time. I have two little boys and there is no one I’d rather have them admire in sports than Derek Jeter. They won’t admire him because he is rich,or famous, they will admire him because of what he’s not: dishonest or shady. They will admire him because he is the one player in his sport that EVERYONE admires-even his rivals. When he leaves the game at the end of this season baseball won’t be the same. I will be sad to see him go and sad for baseball. So grab your kids and head down to the ballpark-experience the magic that is Derek Jeter