On Wednesday, New York Yankees‘ shortstop Derek Jeter posted on his Facebook page that he will retire succeeding the 2014 season. Jeter’s legacy will not only include his on-field production, but also the way he conducted himself.
The Yankees selected Jeter with the sixth overall pick in the 1992 MLB Draft. According to PBSKids.org, “since he was a kid, playing shortstop for the New York Yankees is the only thing Derek Jeter has ever wanted to do.”
Jeter was very productive in the Yankees’ Minor League System, according to Biography.com.. This allowed him the opportunity to fulfill his goal in 1995.
The Yankees’ starting shortstop for the 1995 season was Tony Fernandez. On May 23, 1995, the Yankees placed Fernandez on the 15-day Disabled List, DL, according to Jack O’Connell of The Courant.
They initially promoted Robert Eenhoorn instead of, their top minor league prospect, Jeter. according to O’Connell. Eenhoorn went hitless, 0-7, in three games with the Yankees.
Succeeding Eenhoorn’s three games, they decided to call-up Jeter.
On May 29, 1995, the Yankees called-up 20-year-old Jeter prior to a road game against the Seattle Mariners, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Jeter’s first big league hit was a single the following day. Former Yankees’ manager Buck Showalter told Jack Curry of The New York Times in 2009 his reaction to seeing the hit.
“Showalter said he remembered Jeter’s first hit was a single, but he was more interested in recalling his intangibles. ‘You knew that Derek wasn’t going to embarrass himself,” Showalter said. “Whatever it was, he was going to figure it out.’”
Jeter played 13 games with the Yankees before being sent back to the Minor Leagues.
On June 11, 1995, the Yankees sent Jeter and recently retired closer Mariano Rivera to the Minors; Triple-A Columbus. Jeter told Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, SI, how he and Rivera originally felt about being sent back to the Minor Leagues in 2013.
We were devastated. You can say depressed. Once you come here, you never want to go back. . . . It wasn’t exactly current times back then, you know what I’m saying? We had the Boss then. You don’t do your job and he’ll trade you in a minute. Kids have it easy nowadays. Seriously. It’s so different now.”
I will remember it all: the cheers, the boos, every win, every loss, all the plane trips, the bus rides, the clubhouses, the walks through the tunnel and every drive to and from the Bronx. I have achieved almost every personal and professional goal set. I have gotten the very most out of my life playing baseball, and I have absolutely no regrets.”
Derek Jeter is not only a once in a lifetime baseball player but he is a once in a lifetime leader and ambassador for the sport,” Brendan said. Everything he has ever done in pinstripes has been done at a high level and with unrivaled class; I like many fans will miss Derek Jeter.”
Not only is he class-personified, but his drive and sportsmanship is unrivaled in the game of baseball,” Ryan said. “He has exhibited a level of professionalism throughout his illustrious career that is unmatched and should not be taken for granted, nor forgotten.”
Jeter has been a incredibly consistent player for his entire career,’ Walter said. “I’m happy we get to watch him for one more year just like we did with “Mo” last year.”
No one personifies what the New York Yankees are about then Derek Jeter,” Darren said. “Through his class, determination to winning, professionalism he is an everlasting symbol of the New York Yankees franchise and he will forever be missed.”
The type of player every team wishes they had.” Co-editor James McDermott said. “A workhorse type of guy who played nearly 20 years for the same franchise (which is unheard of nowadays) and playing a premium defensive position very well while producing offensive numbers well above the average player at that position. An undeniably great player, but especially great at the most important moment, which will ultimately be his legacy.”His performance on and off the field is indicative of why millions of aspiring young baseball players have yearned to be like him when they are older,” Co-editor Noah Weintraub said. “His work ethic and immense success in one of the toughest environments in professional sports, Yankee Stadium, exemplifies greatness and a legendary career.”