Fourth Quarter 2014 – “Cycling Through”
It’s wintertime here in New York, and with both the Giants and Jets once again post-season bystanders, and the Knicks and Nets preparing to follow in their footsteps, many New Yorkers are already looking forward to baseball season. For Yankees fans, the upcoming season will be the first in almost twenty years that a recognizable face will not be manning the shortstop position. Derek Jeter played his final game this past October, wrapping up a storied Yankee career in predictably fairy tale fashion, with a game-winning hit in his final at bat at Yankee Stadium. It’s a moment that not just Yankee fans but all baseball fans can appreciate as a genuine reminder of why we love the game as much as we do.
When you look at Derek Jeter’s final Yankee Stadium at bat, and the way in which it unfolded, it’s easy to remember his stunning career achievements. Over 20 seasons, Jeter amassed 3,425 hits, 1,923 runs scored, a .310 batting average, and an OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) of .817. When Jeter first becomes eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020, the only question will be whether or not he becomes the first unanimously-elected inductee. As that date approaches, the Jeter highlight reel will surely roll. All of those heroic moments will be played and replayed as Jeter deservedly prepares to takes his place among the game’s greats. People in and around the sport will say all sorts of nice things about him, singing his praises, cementing his legacy. What they likely won’t discuss, however, is a single, indisputable truth, a reality that can’t be hidden behind his lofty career achievements:
Like all players, sometimes Derek Jeter was flat-out awful.