Saturday, July 9, 2011

Just A Day In The Career Of A Legend

I sat and watched the television as my niece played with her toys. 3-2 pitch grounded to short, through the hole! I scream and my niece cries. I pick her up and tell her it's ok. I show her the TV and explain that Derek Jeter is just one hit away from 3,000. She is one and she is pissed at me. I give her a hug and tell her I'm sorry, but it's going to get loud one more time.

Jeter comes to the plate in the third, and my niece is now in her pool on the porch. Now is the time, Derek. You can get this hit and she won't cry.

Five miles away from me, 50,000 people stood and chanted. Another 3-2 pitch. Flash bulbs go off everywhere. Jeter swings, and there it goes. Up, up, up. It just kept going up.

Back in my living room, I watch as the camera follows the flight of the ball. At some point before the ball landed, I realized that this was not only hit to the gap, I realized the ball was going to land deep in a sea of fans.
I was in awe. I know I yelled, but I don't know what I yelled. I just know that I marveled not only at the 3,000th hit, but at what a hit it was. And as Derek came home to hug his dear friend, Jorge Posada and the rest of his team, something dawned on me. The game was now tied. It just made sense.

As I stood there watching, my father said; "he's gotta be the greatest Yankee of all time. Stature wise." My dad is right. What we watched on the afternoon of July 9th, 2011 was amazing, but it was also pretty normal. Normal, that is to say, for Derek Jeter. We watched him get some hits and make a difference in the game, just like he has done time and time again.

Say what you want about the aging legend, but this is a fact: For the rest of his career, he will go out and give 100 percent. Each and every day, he will give his all and he will strive to win. It's the same thing he has done for his entire career and it works for him.

Derek Jeter got 3,000 hits but that wasn't enough to win the game. So he went out and got 3,001, 3,002 and 3,003. On the day he is inducted into the Hall of Fame, ask him what stands out to him about the day he joined the 3,000 club. My guess is he'll tell you; "Yankees won, 5-4."

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