Thursday March 17, 2011
The 2011 MLB season will be filled with memories of glory. Moments will be witnessed, and achievements will be made both personal and professional. For six months, Major League Baseball will entertain the fans around the world and bring them together for many games. Each team has something to prove. Each coach and player has something to prove. Yet, for one player, the quest is personal as it is professional.
New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter is likely beginning the end of his career. At 37, he signed a 3-yr. deal with a player option for a fourth year. The Yankee Captain will be entering his 16th season as a Yankee. He’s a five-time World Series Champion, 2000 World Series MVP and 1996 Rookie of the Year. He leads the Yankees for the most hits in Yankee history. He also leads the majors for most hits as a shortstop in baseball history. Is there anything left for Derek Jeter to prove in MLB? Yes, there is.
Jeter is coming off one of the worst years of his career. He batted .270, with ten home runs and 67 runs batted in. His fielding went down as well, with some questioning whether he should still play shortstop. Jeter is a player who does not take failure lightly. Jeter is a man who wants to contribute to his team’s success. He is one of the most determined individuals to ever lace up the cleats. Yet, he feels he has something to prove not just for the fans, teammates, coaches and the owners, but also to himself.
Jeter wants to prove to the world he’s still got it. The individual accomplishments are not priority number one. Jeter wants to win it all and has the same drive as the Yankee franchise. He always thrives when battling for baseball greatness. Five World Series rings are not enough for the Yankee Captain. But something else is on the line for Jeter besides time and glory.
History once again stares in Jeter’s face in the form of hits. This time, it’s on a national level in the form of an elite club. Jeter currently stands at 2,925 hits, 75 hits away from the 3,000 hits club. A player with 3,000 is practically a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame, not that Jeter could be one already. That chase will be documented throughout the sports world, but it won’t be enough. Jeter would love to be known as the current “Mr. 3,000”, but he knows it does not mean a thing without a ring.
Derek Jeter wants another World Series Ring, another trophy in Yankee Stadium, another ticker tape parade down Broadway into City Hall. Derek Jeter is a man who leads by example. He knows 3,000 hits are around the corner. He also knows the tasks at hand for him and the Yankees. Derek Jeter believes as long as he’s playing his best, the rest will follow.
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