Goodbye and Good Luck Captain Clutch

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Twenty-two years ago, a young shortstop from Pequannock Township, New Jersey was selected directly out of high school by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 1992 amateur draft. This shortstop was Derek Jeter. Jeter signed with the Yankees and spent two years in the minor leagues. He has remained on the Yankees all these years and obtained many accolades and records. These honors include the 2000 World Series Most Valuable Play award, A Roberto Clemente award, and a  Rookie of the Year award in 1996. His Yankee records include most hits with 3,453, most games played with 2,738, most stolen bases with 357, and most at bats with 11,161. Also, not to forget that Derek boasts a .351 batting average in the World Series; this just further adds to his legacy. He has earned the nicknames Captain Clutch and Mr.November.

From his leadoff home run of game four of the 2001 World Series against the New York Mets to his walk off base hit in his last home game at Yankee Stadium, Jeter has been a legend to many, and his clutch performances will be dearly missed  His iconic career began with his Major League debut on May 29, 1995 as he stepped into the batters box for the first time. The Yankee stadium crowd cheered for the new arrival. The Crowd, better known as the “Bleacher Creatures” adopted the tradition of “roll call” during each game. They shouted the names of the players until the player acknowledged the crowd. This practice continued  during the game. Often, all you could hear in any stadium was, “Derek Jeter, Derek Jeter, Derek Jeter!” A Jeter trademark, as to show a sign a sign of respect for this ritual, he tipped his cap towards the crowd and gave a classic Jeter smile.

Joe Blum, one of our newest additions to the AMHS staff, commented on Derek Jeter, “He optimizes a professional, he’s calm, cool and collected, and he’s a good role model for kids which is important these days.” When asked if he thinks Derek is Hall of Fame worthy, Blum answered, “Absolutely, with twenty years of pro baseball, he’s attained many awards and accolades.”  Blum also thinks that the Yankees should retire Jeter’s number. “His number is worthy of retiring. I would put him up there with Babe Ruth.” When asked what Jeter’s retirement will mean to the game of baseball, Blum responded, “ I think the game will lose an awesome player. I hope that he will inspire up and coming players to emulate and act like him.” Lastly, Joe also stated, “I’ve always enjoyed the game, and he’s a fun player to watch.”

AMHS history teacher, Hooper Pickering, voiced some opinions on Jeter as well. Pickering said, “He’s been free of salacious material and he always plays the game the right way.” When asked if Derek was a favorite player of his, Pickering answered, “Yes, being a Yankees fan for the last twenty years, it’s hard not to be a Jeter fan.” On Jeter being an icon, Pickering notes, “Baseball’s a stats driven game. Although, he’s more important than those stats suggest, he’s a winner.” Now it’s the end, but Derek’s memories will live on to all baseball fans, so we now say, goodbye and good luck, “Captain” Derek Jeter.



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