05 September 2014
Helicopter rides through the scenic Rocky Mountains, mixology and cooking lessons as well as a 3 day stay in the notable Banff Springs Hotel was only part of the gift that the Toronto Blue Jays presented Derek Jeter at his final game in Toronto. They also donated $10,000 to his charity, Turn 2 Foundation that helps youth avoid drug and alcohol addiction. The New York Yankee player also landed a solo cover with The New Yorker, cowboy boots, a paddleboard, a Jeter-inspired Lego statute, original Detroit Tigers stadium seats, paintings and tens of thousands of dollars towards his charity foundation from various other teams. New York has recently announced that they will be wearing badges in honour of Jeter on their ball caps and jerseys from September 7th to the end of the season. These are just some of the many personalized and unique gifts and honourable mentions that the pro baseball star has received on his farewell tour; the end of this season marking the end of Jeter’s baseball reign.
The 40 year old New York Yankees Captain has had a strong 20 year career, albeit the fact that this season for New York has been one of their worst in years, with critics comparing it to their 1993 dismal multiple season playoff shut out. There have even been calls made to take Jeter off batting second due to his dwindling play throughout August. However, Jeter is still a force to be reckoned with, his on and off the field legacy will inspire future generations of baseball players for years to come. Players from opposing teams recognize him as one of the best players of his generation and the name Jeter condones respect and acknowledgement through the baseball world as his reported sportsmanship and sheer talent speaks to his legacy.
The NYY Captain, also known as The Captain and Mr. November, plays shortstop and was first drafted in 1992. Although he didn’t make his debut with the Yankees until 1995, he has stayed with them ever since, racking up a cumulative payroll of an estimated $265 million. With a batting average of .310 throughout his career, .261 this season, 259 homeruns, 3445 hits and 2723 games played, Jeter has earned his reputation through a self proclaimed fierce sense of competition and hard work. He is far from the best. He is far from the most likable or the most memorable. But he has something that has helped pack Yankee Stadium year after year with loyal fans, something that has potentially garnered him a spot in Cooperstown where the National Baseball Hall of Fame resides. He has something that has kept him on a team for 20 years where he has garnered 5 World Series rings and has been acknowledged as All Star and World Series MVP. That something that has made him one of the most marketable athletes of his generation and when the sun sets during his last game with the NYY this fall, you can guarantee that Derek Jeter is a name that will not soon be forgotten.