All-time Yankees hits leader, Major League active hits leader, military brat, brother, friend, legend: Derek Sanderson Jeter has left a mark on the world of baseball that has gone down in history.
Even before being drafted by the New York Yankees right out of high school in 1992, Jeter’s life was almost always consumed with baseball.
Jeter attended Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan, where he was encouraged to play basketball because of his height and athletic physique. However, Jeter’s dream was always to become a major league baseball player, specifically for the New York Yankees.
During his junior and senior year of high school, Jeter batted just over .500, only striking out a single time as a senior. During that time, he won various awards, such as “High School Player of the Year” and the “Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year.”
The Yankees selected Jeter immediately after his graduation in 1992, causing his time at the University of Michigan to be cut extremely short. Jeter didn’t see his debut until 1995 when Yankees shortstop Tony Fernandez was unable to play.
From that moment on, Jeter became a household name.
In 2013 Jeter announced that he would be retiring after the 2014 season. His final season would mark his 20th as a major league player.
After his announcement, hundreds of reporters and photographers gathered on George M. Steinbrenner Field to hear Jeter speak about his retirement.
“The thing that means the most to me is being remembered as a Yankee,” he said. “I have to thank the Steinbrenner family for giving me the opportunity to live my dream.”
Jeter played his final game as a New York Yankee this Sept. against the Boston Red Sox where he singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Even the Red Sox players were seen shaking Jeter’s hand and hugging him, acknowledging his contributions to the sport over the last 20 years.
Now that his career as a player is done, Jeter has big plans for the future which, to no surprise, involve baseball.
In an interview with ESPN, Jeter said that his new dream is to become the lead owner of a Major League Baseball team. He also has various other projects and plans currently in the works, including a children’s book.
For now, Jeter fans can remember his legendary career and look back on it with admiration, respect and appreciation.