Derek Jeter will be gracing us with his presence on the diamond for the last time this season. This is the end of an era in not only New York Yankees history, but the end of an era in baseball history.
There have been many people who have spoke out already about the captain retiring including current baseball commissioner Bud Selig who said, "In 21-plus years in which I have served as Commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter."
Many fans do not realize how big of an impact that Jeter has made on the game of baseball. Without the captain, MLB might not be as relevant as it is today.
Consider the fact that Jeter has played in the majors since 1995, with his first full season coming in 1996 when he won the rookie of the year award. There have been many stars that have played the game during that time and today.
Many of them have been tarnished because of performance enhancing drugs. They include: Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez among others.
Those stars will be remembered for making the game of baseball less relevant because of their cheating ways.
Jeter on the other hand has only provided the perfect example of how an athlete should conduct themselves and deal with the success that comes their way.
Many people that I talked who are baseball fans said to me that during those years they watched baseball to see Jeter succeed because at least he was clean and did not need PEDs to play at a high level.
He was the captain of the most important franchise in the baseball’s history for a decade and in the media never slipped up, or made any excuses for himself after losses.
Without the captain the fans would always focus on the cheaters and not the players who played the right way since they would always be in the news.
He was the most popular player in major leagues for the majority of his career to the point where when fans all over the country thought of baseball, Jeter’s name had to be mentioned. The MLB Network on Twitter is conducting a poll to find out who the face of MLB is today. They are still in the middle of voting, but Jeter has already knocked off Chase Headley of the Padres and World Series hero David Ortiz easily to move on to face Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays.
At the beginning of his last season he is still considered the face of MLB even though he only played in 17 games last season.
Mr. November has set the example for kids and current major leaguers by playing at high level in the clutch, while making all over the right decisions off the field.
Who will be the star going forward? There does not seem to be anyone that could fill the role that Jeter is leaving. Some candidates to be the next great baseball ambassador include: Mike Trout of the Angels, Bryce Harper of the Nationals, Evan Longoria of the Rays, and David Wright of the Mets.
One thing is certain they will not be able to make the same impact that Jeter made on the sport of baseball. The game would not be as popular or relevant as it is today if Derek Jeter did not have the career he had with the New York Yankees.
Enjoy his last season because baseball is losing a legend, a leader and a hero.