Derek Jeter, Most underrated player ever?
We have heard the team many many times. "Chicks dig the long ball." In the home run era came one of the ugliest times in baseball, The Steroid Era but also came the era of a handsome man who chicks could dig and the MLB analysts dug into, Derek Jeter.
Jeter didn't have the size, his defense was average and his power was small compared to those whose moon shots were raining down on baseball stadiums across the country. Names like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa dominating the headlines with their power numbers, Jeter had a lot of ground to make up an with a chip on his shoulder as he entered the world of baseball in 1995 with the New York Yankees, the most historic franchise in the entire league.
Jeter is humble, hard working and without question, a great teammate. Willing to lay it out on the line every night as he shows on July 1st, 2004 against the rival Red Sox. http://youtu.be/seC63AEk4-8
His miraculous plays to help his team win have become some of the most talked about plays in MLB history. Who can ever forget the "Flip play" against the Oakland Athletics in Game 3 of the 01' ALDS. http://youtu.be/ApoJk9X7Vto
His jump throws were ones of pure elegance and grace that could rival those of hall of fame shortstop Ozzie "The Wizard" Smith. http://youtu.be/oxzR0RKRWTQ
Every ball player knows that certain milestones in baseball are truly memorable moments, few even reach those said milestones. The number (3,000) and hits has been almost a certain ticket to the hall of fame, for most players. So for someone who never has been known for their power, to get their 3000th hit by way of the long ball is a rare occurrence. But that is what Derek Jeter has done over his now 20-year career, proving everyone wrong as his 3,000th hit was a home run. http://youtu.be/LPazONtQ080
When Derek Jeter finishes his career, he will finish as one of the most respected players to ever play the game of baseball and during a time where almost every other superstar was on the hook linked to the Steroid Era, that is saying something HUGE. Jeter is one of the last of a dying breed of player, always working hard while staying humble on and off the field, keeping his nose clean and his personal life private, and always working on keeping the New York Yankees in the playoff hunt regardless.
Jeter will finish as the Yankees all time hits king and that is a list that includes Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Lou Gehrig and others who dawned the pinstripes. Not many were dubbed "The Captain" of a franchise, let alone of a historic franchise as Jeter is. Five time World Series Champion and working on a 6th one, continuing to produce each and every night while wearing that patented cloak of humbleness and humility is something that separates Derek Jeter from the stars of today in MLB. Jeter has been undervalued his entire career and when he does leave the diamond for the last time, some will STILL say he was overrated, but those same people started with the exact same opinion bout Jeter 20 years ago.
Derek Jeter, sure he may not have hit that long ball like McGwire, Sosa and Bonds, but in the end, Derek Jeter hit where and when he needed it most, in the hearts and souls of America, earning our respect and winning back our faith the game of baseball. http://youtu.be/X03_bNuihLU
In a world where we are looking for athletes who have a high moral compass and character, Derek Jeter filled that without question. When it does come time for Jeter to hang up those cleats, it will truly be the end of an era in baseball, the high quality, loyal and respectable athlete. The incoming breed like Mike Trout, Bryce Harpers and others has major shoes to fill. The ones that players such as Jeter, Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr left behind. Not an easy thing to do, but something to strive for.