Some days I just feel like writing even though there is nothing in particular to write about. Today, however, I am writing about a conversation I had at lunch.
Getting out of class at 12:45, I ran to the cafeteria with a few of my friends and one of them happens to be a huge Red Sox fan. I made sure to position myself at a table that faced the television so I could experience Jeter’s last home opener as close as I can get. As my friends and I sat down and watched the ceremony unfold, Mo, Andy and Jorge came out to participate in the first pitch ceremony.
I was expecting it, but nothing prepared me for this exact moment that I ended up witnessing. The Core Four, the finest group of young talent to grace the major leagues, was together once again and Derek Jeter, the final piece of the puzzle and only player left, was about to finish off his career.
Excuse me while I cry for a bit.
But watching the first pitches being thrown out and seeing the smiles and pure love and respect these ballplayers had for each other brought tears to my eyes. Then I realized I was in the cafeteria and came back to reality. Which is when I heard the best thing from my Red Sox fan.
Andrea turned around to watch the performance and smiled a little bit. Not expecting this, I asked her what was up. Her response? “I’m going to miss Derek Jeter when he’s gone.”
What? Did I hear that correctly?
Even though she is a die-hard Sox fan, Andrea proudly admitted her feelings for Derek Jeter. And why? “Because I respect him, even though the Red Sox are my life.”
Yup, that is what you heard. Derek Jeter and the Core Four exemplify the kind of respect that, no matter the rivalry, any baseball fan can appreciate. Now take a minute to think of any other current baseball player you respect…is there one? Is there one that lives every day for the team and is respected as highly as Jeter? The answer is probably no. So who will be next?
There will probably never be another Derek Jeter. At least not for a long time. He is running away with positions on the all-time lists while also playing the game for the love of it and the love of his team. But there is always potential for a future player to have as much influence on the sport and other teams as Jeter does now.
The Core Four being brought out to the field showed that kindness and respect towards others goes a long way. Even all the way to Boston, where the Yankees are the most hated team. So we can only hope that for the future of baseball, there will be someone like Jeter, no matter what team he may be on. Because, let’s face it…players that play for the love of the game and respect each other remind us of why we started playing. That child-like love for the game and others is why we will continue following baseball.