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.