Archive for the ‘Derek Jeter’ tag

One Fan Bids Farewell to His Captain

without comments

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.”

Share Button

Written by Andrew Canlon
Andrew Canlon

September 29th, 2014 at 5:04 pm

The All-Star Treatment from Nike

with one comment

Nike ASG

Fans from all over the country flocked to Minneapolis in mid-July to watch the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Between Yankees legend Derek Jeter’s last appearance and a city with such passion for the sport, the energy was palpable in the Twin Cities.

Nike was right in the middle of the action, spreading their “Future Gets Faster” message through events for young athletes and the launch of the Nike Lunar Vapor Spectrum Collection. Over the course of two days during All-Star Game week, Nike gave Minneapolis-area youth baseball athletes the opportunity to learn, train and compete, and fans of the game got some love as well.

On Monday, July 14 Nike’s Future Gets Faster baseball competition provided all-star treatment to two age groups of 220 elite athletes at Cretin-Derham Hall (Twins star Joe Mauer’s high school). The players tested their speed in running, swinging and fielding – highlighting the importance of speed in the game. Between high school and youth sessions, the young athletes got a surprise visit from Milwaukee Brewers centerfielder all-star Carlos Gomez. At the end of each age group’s session, the athletes competed for a spot in a homerun derby (complete with fireworks, of course). After their competition sessions ended, the athletes checked out the new Nike Lunar Vapor Trout cleat, which they would see on Angels all-star Mike Trout during the All-Star game the following day.

That same day, baseball fans at the Nike Mall of America store reaped the rewards of their scavenger hunting skills with a VIP athlete Q&A experience with St. Louis Cardinals all-star Matt Carpenter. The day before, Carpenter released a tweet with clues for fans to find, photograph and tweet – all clues could be found in Mall of America. Fans who completed the hunt were rewarded with a VIP bracelet to come back to the Nike store the next morning for the Q&A. Carpenter shared his philosophy on work ethic and his appreciation for his teammates.

On Tuesday, All-Star Gameday, 20 elite high school baseball players were invited to a true insider experience to learn what it takes to develop the incredible speed that Mike Trout is known for. At the Train Like Trout event, Nike treated athletes to a full VIP experience with locker set-ups complete with apparel and footwear. After gearing up, Trout’s own personal trainer, Dan Richter, led the athletes through a full workout of speed and strengthening drills. Once the workout was over, a healthy-food truck pulled up, and athletes enjoyed a premium viewing experience for the All-Star Game, as they watched Mike Trout’s American League team kill it.

Share Button

All-Star Game Raises a Cap to the Captain

without comments

Photo credit: Newsday.com

Photo credit: Newsday.com

This year, the MLB All-Star Game descended on a sparkling new Target Field in the heart of the Twin Cities. Ironically, a game that was supposed to be “twin-centric” ended up being all about one man, of which there is no duplicate: Derek Jeter.

That’s right. There is only one Derek Jeter and in his final Midsummer Classic, the slender 40-year-old shortstop took center stage in the friendly confines of Minnesota. From the very first play (an impressive diving stop) to the last out, DJ owned the moment, just as he has his entire 20-year career.

The American League would go on to win for the second year in a row with the help of rising star and game MVP, Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Trout, only 22 years old, is part of a young dynamic core that represent baseball’s bright future. Of course, who can forget Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu and 2014 Home Run Derby Champ, Yoenis Cespedes? These three Cuban superstars have stormed onto the international stage with their dynamic defense, powerful throws, towering home runs and glittering earrings. Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, who many believe could be the greatest hitter of the new age, sent a baseball deep into the third deck during the HR Derby, wowing all who saw. Not since Reggie Jackson has one hitter so impressed an All-Star Game crowd.

And so it’s true … a game that was as much about saying goodbye to one man also served as a welcome party for the game’s latest and greatest, all of whom expect to follow in Jeter’s storied footsteps.

Unlike the Olympics, baseball has no torch. No literal fire to bestow to the next generation of stars. Nonetheless, after this, one of the most memorable All-Star Games in recent memory, you can rest assured that the torch has been passed.

Share Button

Written by Andrew Canlon
Andrew Canlon

July 22nd, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Baseball’s Back!

without comments

Untitled

This winter has been straight up Game of Thrones. It’s been dark, cold and full of snowy terrors. Thankfully spring has officially arrived and although it’s still pretty frosty out there, the sights and sounds of major league athletes preparing for the 2014 season is enough to make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Seriously, it’s called “spring training.” Even if you aren’t a fan of baseball (or training for that matter), you’re still pretty stoked about the spring part.

With only a few days remaining before Opening Week, there are already headlines aplenty. Can the Yankees bounce back? Will the Red Sox repeat? Can the Nationals live up to expectations? Will Miguel Cabrera win ANOTHER MVP!?

Many of these questions will be answered in the coming months as spring gives way to the dog days of summer, and summer to the excitement of October. This is a fresh start, a clean slate…a blank page, as they say. Yet as we know, time tends to fly when you’re having fun and moments are fleeting, especially when it comes to baseball.

Last year we closed the book on a legendary career as Mariano Rivera took his final bow. The outpouring of appreciation for the best closer in baseball history was apparent as night after night fans took to their feet and applauded the man they call “Mo.” This year, a similar farewell tour will commence in ballparks across America as the grand old game will offer its final sendoff to its most respected and adored superstar. You know who I’m talking about:

Derek Jeter.

That’s right, “The Captain” will play his final season in 2014 and trust me, you won’t want to miss a single swing of the bat.

Well, now that I’ve set the stage and we’re all properly excited, there’s really only one thing left to say:

“PLAY BALL!”

Share Button