Tag: Derek Jeter

“Derek Jeter saved my family”

derek jeter yankees getty

No, this is not a humor post and no I am not mocking someone for having an overblown Jeter take. That is actually the headline to a wonderful and touching story from Elizabeth Taddonio at The Hairpin about how Derek Jeter and the mid-90s Yankees meant so much to her family which, at the time, was falling apart:

The years of 1995 and 1996 were some of the worst times of my life. My mother was erratic and verbally abusive. She was hiding liquor from my dad. At one of her lowest points she hid a bottle of SKOL vodka in my Barbie bin, on the top shelf of my closet. When I went to get it down the bottle hit me in the head and I saw stars. I didn’t tell her; I hid it and gave it to my dad when he got home. I was 10 years old.

But the seasons changed again, and in spring of 1996 this beautiful 22-year-old kid was finally playing for the Yankees. I remember that season: how I felt about the Braves. I remember how excited we were during playoffs and how we ordered pizza and I stayed up way too late and we were just so happy in my house.

Baseball isn’t as important as real life. Not by damn sight. But it can be a shelter from the storm of the real world and the good memories one associates with it can go a long way toward alleviating some of the pain that real life dealt you at the same time.

[ RELATED: Derek Jeter’s career, in photos ]

The biggest thing to realize about Derek Jeter — or any other meaningful ballplayer — leaving the stage is that it matters not one bit what the reporters and commentators say about it. Whether the backlash or the backlash to the backlash is more salient at any given moment. What matters is what he meant to the fans who rooted for him and enjoyed his career. What the baseball games he played meant to them.

(h/t Allison)

Apparently, baseball will start dying once Derek Jeter retires

Derek Jeter

From a Time Magazine story called “Baseball’s Derek Jeter Problem”

The Derek Jeter problem extends to all of baseball. Despite his shaky last-season performance, Jeter is still the most familiar, marketable, beloved player in the game. And right now, the sport has no one to replace him . . . According to Q Scores Company, among active athletes recognized by more than half the U.S. population, Jeter owns the second-highest “Q score” – a general favorability rating – trailing only Peyton Manning. The bad news: no other baseball player ranks in the top 15. “Baseball players aren’t even on the national radar for the general population,” says Henry Schafer, an executive vice president at Q Scores. “They’re just not out there like players from other sports.”

I would like to see local Q scores. I would also like to see what these scores said about baseball players in the mid-90s, when Derek Jeter made his debut. I suppose they all worried who would take Cal Ripken’s place as the Face of the Game when he retired.

[ RELATED: Derek Jeter’s career, in photos ]


Derek Jeter is not the only legend retiring this year

Paul Konerko

While Derek Jeter has sucked up all of the farewell air, there is another legendary player — at least locally legendary — retiring after the final game is played on Sunday. Paul Konerko is saying goodbye after a magnificent 18-year career, sixteen of which were played for the White Sox.

Konerko played over 2,300 career games and posted a career line of .279/.354/.487 with 439 homers and 1412 RBI. He was a six-time All-Star, the 2005 ALCS MVP and led the White Sox to the World Series title that year, ending a drought that lasted longer than the much more famous Red Sox title drought. Of course, because Konerko never played in New York or Boston he never got the kind of supporting cast those teams could perpetually afford during his playing career and never got the same amount of hype.

But to a Chicago White Sox fan, Paul Konerko was just as important as Derek Jeter was to a Yankees fan. And even if he’s not getting the same kind of sendoff, he will be just as missed by the people who cheered for him.

Here he says goodbye to his fans. On Sunday, at home against the Royals, he will say it in person.

What we talk about when we talk to Derek Jeter at second base

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David Waldstein of the New York Times has a good story up today about the conversations ballplayers have had with Derek Jeter at second base over the years. You know, the little bits of smalltalk after you pull into the bag following a walk and your teammate’s shallow single to right field. Everyone has them, but they are often different when Jeter is involved.

Like this one, involving Gordon Beckham, not long after he came into the league. He got to second base and said hello to Jeter, who said hello back. Beckham was star-stuck:

The next batter hit a ground ball to Jeter, who threw to first for the second out. Beckham, still distracted from the conversation with Jeter, thought it was the final out. He wandered off third and handed his helmet to the third-base coach. Mark Teixeira saw that and threw to Alex Rodriguez, who tagged an embarrassed Beckham for the third out.

I’m not sure how any player under the age of, say, 25, doesn’t get to second base and just go full-on Chris Farley-talk-show with Jetes, actually.

[ RELATED: Derek Jeter’s career, in photos ]