As we all know, Derek Jeter is on the farewell tour, while also trying to get his team into the playoffs...
Being a Red Sox fan my whole life, you absolutely hated the Yankee's no matter what they did. "They beat us in extra's" "Why do they to shave all the time?" "Just saw someone with a new car, what a loser." For the longest time, the Yanks would just take it to us, they won every division title it felt like. They beat us when it mattered. Regardless, you just hated them because they were in pinstripes. When the game was on the line, it always seemed like Jeter was up at the plate and you automatically knew that he was going to slap one to right center field into the gap, scoring one, and trotting into second base. It was almost a given every time.
But regardless of how much you dislike the Yankees, you had to grow to at the very least, respect Derek Jeter. For me, you actually grow to like him a little (I can't believe I'm saying this). But it's true. He was the perfect villain against your favorite teams. Big hits all the time, a solid glove at shortstop, even just being quiet and respectful off the field felt like salt in the wound after a win. You have to respect him because he played every game. You have to respect him because he constantly came through in the clutch. You have to like him because he never had an off-field issue like you see in today's day in age. He was quiet. He was productive throughout the steroid era, showing all that you don't need to juice up to be successful and have a great career. A solid batting average, constantly coming through for your team will give you that opportunity. He did it all with class and he was smart enough to not put himself in jeopardy of losing any of that.
In my eyes, he's a first ballot Hall of Fame player and one of the greatest players, let alone shortstops to ever play the game. He played every game the right way. He was loved by each of his teammates. What is there to hate about the guy? He's a good looking dude that has a lot of money? All the women? Never got into an ounce of trouble? Was one of the most clutch players ever? Regardless there will never be another Derek Jeter or Mr. November. I'm not saying he was Major League Baseball's version of Michael Jordan, no way. But he was the model for consistency for a very long time. I'm glad I had the opportunity to watch him when I was a kid until now and It's certainly going to be tough to watch him walk away from the game. It's certainly going to be weird to watch Red Sox vs. Yankee's game in April, 2015 and not see number 2 go 6 to 3 for the out. Or see number 2 slap the ball to right field. Will be very weird indeed.
Congrats to Derek Jeter on a long and very successful career. Was certainly a fun player to watch growing up. There will never be another you, that's for damn sure. Here's my little tip of the cap.