Derek Jeter announced that the upcoming 2014 season will be his last. That saddens me as a Yankee fan.
Jeter will be remembered for a lot of things. First of all, he was known for treating people around him well. From the rookies to the lower level employees and bat boys, Jeter treated the “lessers” around him with dignity and respect.
On the field, Jeter was just as exemplary. He was “The Captain”. He will be remembered for his clutch plays. He hit a home run that won a World Series game vs. the New York Mets. He will also be remembered for playing the game the “right way” – i.e. no performance enhancing drugs (unlike Alex Rodriguez aka “A-Fraud”).
However, Jeter will be most remembered for the two following plays:
Now folks (including Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless from ESPN’s “First Take”) are asking themselves where should Jeter should be placed among the New York Yankees’ all-time greats. Here is how I would rank the greatest players to don a Yankees uniform:
- Babe Ruth
- Lou Gehrig
- Reggie Jackson
- Joe DiMaggio
- Mickey Mantle
- Derek Jeter
- Mariano Rivera
- Goose Gossage
- Don Mattingly
- Dave Winfield
Jeter may not be the greatest Yankee, but I would argue that he was its biggest icon. He was the face of baseball most of his career. And again, reference the two videos above as proof of Jeter’s icon status.
By the way, the baseball writer who does not vote Jeter in as a first-ballot Hall of Famer should have his voting privileges revoked permanently.
If its by popularity, its Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, Gehrig. Mickey Mantle was and is so beloved by all of the older generation.