In Praise of Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter is an all-time great in the game of baseball. He will be a first ballot Hall of Famer, which he absolutely deserves. He appears to be a genuinely nice person who cares about the Yankees and the Yankee community. Thursday, September 25, 2014, he played his final game at Yankee Stadium. He has truly been a great ambassador for baseball. His excellent play and great record off the field have made him the face, deservedly, of baseball for a generation of baseball fans.
A little thing about me you should know, I’m a diehard Red Sox fan. In my life as a Sox fan, I have only respected two Yankees players: Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. I thought the farewell tour last season for Mo was awesome and I was super proud to see my Sox give him a really heartfelt going away gift. Jeter really hasn’t gotten the treatment this season that Mo got last season, and I think part of that is because Jeter goes out everyday, while Mo might only appear once in a given series.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
2,744 Games (should finish at 2,748)
3,461 Hits
260 Home Runs
1,307 RBI
358 Stolen Bases
.309 Batting Average
.377 On Base Percentage
1,838 Strikeouts (which is about .67 per game)

Now, let’s look at the accolades:
1996 – Rookie of the Year
14 Time All-Star
5 Gold Gloves
5 Time Silver Slugger
5 Time World Series Champion (including being the MVP of the 2000 WS against the Mets)

Oddly enough, he has never won the MVP award, which surprised me. He has finished in the top five of MVP voting just three times in his career. Weird.
These numbers are mind boggling to me: career .300+ hitter, 3,000+ hits, 14 time All-Star, 1,300+ RBI. Just a fantastic career.

He will end his career at Fenway Park, a place he hasn’t really dominated. His numbers at Fenway are average. But that’s not the point. The point is he is going to play his last career game at his most bitter rival’s park. I really hope the Sox do this series correctly and send Jeter off appropriately.

Jeter is the only Yankees player I truly wish had been a Red Sox player. Time and time again he did something to beat us. He did something in the clutch, in the postseason to burn the Sox. He is one of the best 25 players in baseball history. He is a Hall of Famer, and his career will unfortunately end on Sunday September 28, 2014 and it has been a great pleasure to watch him through the years.

By: Nick Klemm @npklemm on Twitter

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In Praise of Derek Jeter