Brief Tribute to Derek Jeter

8

I tuned in to the New York Yankees game on Thursday night, just in time to see Derek Jeter drive in the go ahead runs against Baltimore. I continued watching, and I couldn’t help but root for Jeter when he came to bat with the game on the line in the 9th. As a Red Sox fan, this feeling surprised me because I have rooted against Jeter and the Yankees for so many years.

As I watched various shots of Jeter during the game, it made me think back to all of the times I watched him play. There were countless times Jeter came up with a clutch play against my Red Sox. Although many people criticize Jeter’s fielding, I was at the game in 2004 when he went crashing into the stands after making a great  catch. In that game, I remember Manny Ramirez hit a go-ahead home run in extra innings, only to see the Yankees come back with two in the bottom of the inning to win the game. I  attend quite a few Red sox games every year, and that game is still one of the most memorable to me.

The Red Sox and Yankees rivalry transcends the game of baseball to me. I grew up in the Boston area, and I moved to Manhattan  for graduate school in 2002, right when the rivalry heated up again. For 10 years, I wore various Red Sox caps on a daily basis, and I endured some cheers and boos along the way. While in NYC, the Red Sox were a  connection with home, and Derek Jeter was my team’s nemesis.

It turns out that my introduction to Derek Jeter came in the mid-1990s. When my grandparents lived in South Florida, my parents took us to the NY Yankees spring training facility. It was there that I met Yankee legends Frank Howard and Whitey Ford. I also met pitcher Jim Abbott and a young Derek Jeter. While at home, I tweeted about the meeting, and Jim Abbott replied, informing  me that the year was most likely 1994, which was prior to Jeter’s  MLB debut in 1995.

I have photographs from that day, and I still have the autograph (in poor shape under the glass on my  childhood desk).

Although I have been rooting against Derek Jeter for many years, I will be tipping my cap to him today as he retires after the game tonight. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, and he made the Red Sox Yankees rivalry more exciting.

IMG_5019

8 COMMENTS

  1. Elliot,

    Exact same scenario here for me, love the Red Sox, immensely dislike the Yankees by default and yet I can not help but appreciate what an amazing athlete and overall class act Jeter has been throughout his career.

    I was watching the highlights and Jeter get emotional after the celebration, it was impossible to not feel this strange emotion, happiness for a Yankee, lol. That’s the great thing about Jeter, he’s been so great for so long, and he’s never let fans of baseball down with his personal or professional life, he’s just done his job being The Captain. Baseball would be better off if we had a “Jeter” on every team.

    Thanks for writing this post. While as a fellow Red Sox fan it is a little unusual to be praising a Yankee, it’s good to know that there are other people in Red Sox Nation that can see past the pinstripes with Jeter.

    Truth be told, I’d rather hang out with Jeter than Jacoby Ellsbury or Johnny Damon any day. Don’t think either one of them will ever get off of my @#%$ list.

  2. When I go to any games, I try not to root for any teams, I just go there and watch/enjoy the game and hopefully both of them play their best.

    When I was at the US open quarterfinals, I give kudos to both the Roger, etc and all the players because they put a good game- that all I asked for.

    A true sportsman roots /respect the game- that sportsmanship is all about

  3. Watching a Yankees game will never be quite the same without Jeter.It’s fun to reminisce about our favorite baseball game,high on my list was the first night game at Wrigley field which I attended on 8/8/8.It was rained out after three innings.So the official night game was the following night when the Cubs beat the Mets 6-4.Even with the down pour most fans remained in their seats enjoying the moment.

  4. If you can’t tell from my twitter picture, I am a big Yankees fan. Jeter always played with class and I don’t recall him ever saying a bad word about anyone on or off the field. It’s rare to see someone so talented and with the retirement of him and Mo, I think it may be a long time if ever that we see such amazing players and leaders playing for one single team. I think their loyalty to the team is something we can learn from as well.
    Having lived in Boston for grad school for 4 years I have had the opposite/same experience as you wearing my Yankees gear around town.
    Hope next year our teams are both still playing at this point in the season.
    Thanks for the story today.

Leave a Reply