The End of an Era


Connor Riley, Writer

On May 29th, 1995 Derek Jeter made his Major League debut with the New York Yankees. He batted 9th and went 0-5 with a strikeout. The next few weeks heading into the 1996 season led to much skepticism of whether or not Jeter could become the starting shortstop of the booming franchise. Jeter proved everyone wrong by winning AL Rookie of the Year in ’96, followed by 20 phenomenal seasons as the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees.

The future Hall of Fame inductee is a hero to all generations and fans, New York Yankees affiliated or not. Respect is a hard thing to gain while constantly being in the public eye, but Jeter has successfully earned it in Major League Baseball and around the world. “The Captain” of MLB is ending an incredible career with his retirement.

Jeter announced he would be retiring at the end of the 2014 season with an announcement on Facebook on February 12th. Jeter fractured his left ankle during Game 1 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. He would have needed surgery that would end up taking longer to recover from than originally predicted. Jeter only played 17 games during the 2013 season before re-aggravating his left ankle. He had a very healthy and long career with this being his only major injury and setback.

Throughout this season, Derek Jeter has been recognized with ceremonies and gifts from different teams. A few gifts Jeter received were an electric guitar, a #2 from the Wrigley Field scoreboard, a twelve-foot long paddleboard, a golden plated bat, a few seats from different stadiums, and many more unique gifts from teams around MLB. On a personal note, many teams have donated money to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Derek Jeter will go down in Yankee history as possibly the greatest player ever and in MLB history as one of the top baseball players. Jeter set numerous Yankee franchise records, MLB records, and shortstop specific records. Jeter’s most notable accomplishment was hitting his 3,000th career hit on July 9th. 2011. Jeter is the only player to make their 3,000th hit a homerun. The man who did it with an exclamation point will finish his career with the 6th most hits of all time.

The legend has won five Gold Glove Awards, five World Series, five Silver Slugger Awards, one World Series MVP in 2000, and many other prestigious awards. Jeter has also played in 14 All-Star games throughout his career.

Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium could not have ended in a greater fashion. He was honored on September 25th and the touching ceremony was capped off with a bottom of the 9th inning walk-off single for Jeter, ultimately winning the game. In Jeter’s post-game press conference, he could not stop thanking the fans for all of their support. Jeter’s final game of his career was on September 28th at Fenway Park; he was taken out of the game in the 3rd inning after hitting an RBI infield single. No one could have asked for a greater way to cap off a spectacular career.

In one last punch to every Yankees fan’s emotions, Jeter released a heart warming commercial of him walking the last few blocks to Yankee Stadium about a week or two ago. While watching this commercial, it makes not just a Yankee fan, but a baseball fan appreciate everything he has done for the sport. Jeter’s storied 20 season career with the New York Yankees will go down in history as the best shortstop to ever play baseball. Jeter may wear #2, but he’s #1 in the hearts of all true baseball fans.

Below is the link of Jeter’s touching commercial, created by the man himself.