One Fan Bids Farewell to His Captain

Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

When it comes to Derek Jeter, there is more to be admired than what you see on the surface. It’s not just the success, the money, the fame or even his enviable bachelor lifestyle that cause me to marvel.

Beneath all of that noise is that classic determination we’ve come to expect. What we’ve truly appreciated about him is his poise, his consistency, his dedication and his seemingly unbreakable focus. Fans don’t need you to beat your chest and proclaim dominance. If we’re to truly embrace you, we want you to put your head down, play hard and deliver. In doing so, Derek Jeter became the embodiment of what’s best about New York City.

Despite being highly scrutinized, he never expressed displeasure with the fans. He’s no nonsense, he shrugs in the face of pressure and he’s extremely reliable. He’s like a good neighbor…always there when you need him.  Joe Torre once said that even as a youngster, Derek had a certain look in his eye. Not one of conceit or arrogance, but one that said “I know I’m good and I don’t need to say a word to let people know I feel that way.” The result of that unflappable confidence is a laundry list of memorable moments in his two-decade career. From the classic “flip play” to his head first dive into the stands, the image of a pinstriped Jeter raising his arms in victory is burned into my memory.

Derek Jeter is the face of a generation. Specifically, my generation, and as one of millions of kids around the world (especially in New York), I can honestly say it’s the end of an era – one in which I’ve had more fun watching Jeter play than I’m brave enough to admit. I could go on for days about what the Jeter era has meant to me, my city, and even my grandmother – who lovingly referred to The Captain as “My Derek.” Yet, the only way to honor my boyhood idol is to say thank you. Oh, what a ride it’s been.

On behalf of fans everywhere: “Derek, we’d like to thank the Good Lord for making you a New York Yankee.”

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Written by Andrew Canlon
Andrew Canlon

September 29th, 2014 at 5:04 pm

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