Derek Jeter will be present on July 26 in Cooperstown, New York, to deliver his acceptance speech for induction into baseball’s HOF. Here’s a preview…
And I’d like to begin by saying I consider my most significant accomplishment over my twenty playing seasons to be having never said anything publicly of consequence or controversy – ever. (pause – chuckles, laughter).
And so, don’t expect anything different today. (pause – chuckles)
But I wish first to acknowledge the presence of Sanderson Charles and Dorothy Jeter, my father, and mother – who made this all possible today in so many ways – and I’ll be forever grateful to you. Please stand up. Yes. (pause – wild cheering and applause)
Now unlike golf and tennis and NBA basketball, as it’s played today, baseball is a team game. (pause) – Whoa, who put that in there? I said just like the old days – no controversy (pause – chuckles, laughter).
But I mean that truly. And yes it is true, I am here today because I registered 3,400 hits as a major league ballplayer. But I did not accomplish anything alone. (pause – applause)
And I am so grateful for the presence of my teammates today. The big lefty Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and the incomparable Mariano Rivera – the Core Four as you named us. Four – I say four – as in World Championship titles – that’s what it’s all about. (Jeter pause – standing ovation)
But I tell you, you made a mistake. Because the moniker is incomplete, and it shall always be – from this moment forward – known as the Core Five – and Bernie Williams, thank you for being here today. (Jeter pause – wild applause)
Now, very few are blessed with having a father with the presence to provide guidance and discipline that results in fully developed offspring.
It has been my fortune to have not one but two – if you will – fathers. Mr. Torre, thank you for providing the leadership and guidance I sorely needed in those early years of my career.
Derek Jeter is in the Baseball Hall of Fame – and George Steinbrenner is not. There’s something not right about that. (longer pause) No further comment. (pause – chuckles – applause)
For today, though, I can only thank the Steinbrenner family not only for the support given to me but to the city of New York and all of baseball.
All things must pass, as it did for me in on September 28, 2014. And as you know (video begins in the background), a storybook ending moment that sent me on my way down the steps of the Yankee’s dugout for the last time.
(Video ends – Derek Jeter waving to crowd) You know, I always felt and played like I was never entitled to anything in this game. But I’ll tell you, that one hit me hard. (pause – wild cheering)
Ooops, I did it again. Strike that. I revealed too much. (Jeter pause – chuckles)
Now, before you begin to think about charging me for the extra sun-tan lotion you needed today, I’ll wrap this up. (pause – chuckles – cheers)
Baseball fans will recall Yankees immortal Lou Gehrig, who stood at Yankee Stadium, proclaiming himself to be the luckiest man on the face of the earth – even though he was in the presence of a fatal illness.
With God’s grace, I am not so afflicted. But I do say to you today that I consider myself the most fortunate man on the face of the earth. (pause)
Since my retirement, I’ve lived a life-long dream and goal to become an owner of a major league team and franchise. The Miami Marlins are now the Derek Jeter who came up to the Yankees, minus those four World Titles. Let that journey begin now too. (pause – mild applause)
But there’s more. So much more. In 2016, Hannah and I were wed. Two beautiful daughters, Story Grey and Bella Raine (pause – stand up ladies) followed, and (pause – applause)…
It’s all one big circle, and I consider myself fortunate to have completed the loop. From Grand Rapids, Michigan to Columbus, Ohio to Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York to Miami, Florida, and my home with my family in Tampa (pause) –
I am so very grateful to be here today. Thank you. (pause – wild applause). Thank you. Thank you.
Derek Jeter – The Aftermath
In typical fashion, Derek Jeter has pre-appointed dates with media. ESPN and MLB Network, who have provided live coverage of the event, get their turn with Jeter.
Duty has called and as always, Derek Jeter has answered with diligence and grace. But it’s been a long weekend for everyone, and it’s time to return with his family to Florida, where his Marlins are in the midst of another five-game losing streak.
From the stage to the waiting chartered plane, no more than forty-five minutes have passed on the clock. No one is surprised.