The Captain

“If you’re going to win a game you’re going to have to come up with big hits. That’s the bottom line.”
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter

This past Saturday, Derek Jeter became the first New York Yankee ever to amass 3,000 hits. Jeter’s entire playing career has been with the Yankees.

He was the American League’s Rookie of the Year in 1996 and in 2003 he was named Captain of the Yankees. Jeter has won five Gold Gloves Awards for fielding excellence.

In 2000, Derek Jeter was both the All-Star Game MVP and the World Series MVP. He is the only player to win both Awards in the same season.

Jeter has played on five World Championship teams and is a 12-time All-Star. His lifetime batting average is .313.

Ernest Hemingway once defined courage as “grace under pressure.  Derek Jeter has grace under pressure. Not to get off the point, but Hemingway loved the Yankees and probably would have been a big Derek Jeter fan.

Over the years, Derek Jeter often has taken it to the “next level.” He collected his 3,000th hit on Saturday and hit number 3,000 was a home run. Jeter rapped out five hits in the game and knocked in the winning run in a very important game for the Yankees.

Some athletes cannot handle the pressure that comes with playing in New York. Not Derek Jeter.  He is a true professional who in 1996, helped the Yankees win their first World Series in 18 years.

I realize that Jeter never won a Most Valuable Player Award and never put up outstanding numbers. However, he did perform at a very high level for many years. He has played a very demanding position (shortstop) and has displayed great leadership. When the chips were down, he often came through offensively and defensively. He is a winner and a future Hall of Famer.

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