Derek Jeter is on the cusp of being only the second player to win election to the Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously. It’s not a bad call…
Derek Jeter, from a fan’s point of view, is an enigma. What he did on the field provided endless thrills as he led the Yankees to five World Championships.
Right down until his last at-bat in a Yankees uniform when he muscled a bloop hit into right field to drive in the winning run, he amazed for his ability to seize a moment of drama.
We can also recall when Derek Jeter raced across the diamond into no man’s land as an errant thrown came into home plate as Jason Giambi attempted to score from first base on the double into the corner.
And really, this is a play worthy of seeing again and again.
Instinct and baseball acumen told Derek Jeter to be there, and then to acrobatically make an underhand toss to Jorge Posada, who tagged a stunned Giambi out before he even attempted a slide.
Or, the time when Derek Jeter rushed out after a harmless foul ball headed for the seats against the Red Sox at the height of their rivalry – tossing his body freely into the stands, only to emerge with the ball, an out, and a bloody nose.
Derek Jeter – Majority Rules And It’s OK
A confession before we go any further. I do not idolize Derek Jeter beyond what he did on the field. The 3,400+ hits and number six on the all-time list speaks for itself.
His .300+ batting average in the all-important postseason is a current mark Yankees need to take notice of as the true definition of a champion.
And perhaps even a source of a bar Jeter has rightfully set high if (Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge) have any aspirations to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
With Jeter, the issue is the plastic nature of his personality and his manipulation of the New York media.
Derek Jeter is not the first to be awarded a “do not touch” designation by the New York media. Mickey Mantle was notoriously known as a womanizer and frequenter of Manhattan bars, a subject he would later admit to himself.
Matt Harvey descended the same path as Mantle. The difference was, though, it all caught up to him before he was retired, and the fate that followed “The Mick” when he had only apologies to offer.
Today, he is on the rolls of unemployed player, with no one (apparently) willing to bet on his character and ability to get major league hitters out.
The thing with Derek Jeter, though, is that he was photographed entering a club with two starlets, one on each arm, but that’s where Page Six in the New York Post stopped. A tease. A tease that Derek Jeter seemed to relish in providing.
In the end, 3,467 hits say it all…
I, and (probably) a minority of Yankees fans have a right to at least be aware of the behavior of the man – and player – who is about to stand on the stage in Cooperstown in July to accept the ultimate award a professional baseball player can achieve.
Jealousy? Oh yeah, you bet? Who wouldn’t want to be Derek Jeter?
So, in the end, the only relevant “evidence” to be considered in Jeter’s election to the Hall, and possibly even a unanimous vote, is what happened on the field.
Jeter On The Field Trumps Everything
And when it comes to the highlight reels, even an average fan of baseball can put together when presented with a choice presented on YouTube.
If Jeter Deter is unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, I’m okay with that.
If only there were a way to separate Jeter from Mariano Rivera, who cleared the bar last year.
And I hope, though; I don’t expect that Derek Jeter will acknowledge the separation between himself and “Mo” during his speech in July. We’ll see…