With Derek Jeter Day officially here, the hype is over. However, the importance of Jeter lives on in millennial fans of the New York Yankees.The New York Yankees are celebrating Derek Jeter’s illustrious career this evening, as if you didn’t already know. The media has been hyping up this day all week long, much to the dismay of several fans who believe enough is enough.
Sure, the Jeter posts have been overkill. But to millennials, the honoring of Derek Jeter is something that not everyone can understand.
Jeter has been a fixture in the Bronx for his inspired play, clutch moments and defensive plays of Jeterian nature. However, there have been several players in Yankees history that have made an impact like Jeter.
But that’s the not the point.
We grew up alongside Derek Jeter. We held everyone else to the gold standard that Jeter provided for us. And while other fans had Don Mattingly, Mickey Mantle or Reggie Jackson, we had Jeter and that was all we knew.
Millennials don’t know the Yankees without Jeter. The past few years have been the first time we’ve witnessed a team that didn’t have his leadership and poise on the field. The only teams we’ve witnessed are those with No. 2 on the field.
And now, it is officially the end of his career with the Yankees. Some say to move on to the next chapter but with this being all we know, it stings a lot more than you would think.
He may be one of the most famous names in Yankees history but Jeter means something else to us. He was the first to teach us that success comes from hard work. He was the first to show us that no matter how the odds are stacked against you, perseverance succeeds.
His emergence to the Bronx did not come easy. Despite high expectations of his skills, he struggled in lower levels of the minors. But he fought back and outworked his competition, ultimately earning him a spot in Yankees history.
That’s the type of guy we grew up watching. A player who never let the little things bother him. A player who eyed success and didn’t stop until he achieved it. And that is a type of player we might not see again for a long, long time.
Derek Jeter defined our childhoods, our teenage years, our early 20s. No matter what was going on in life, there was always a constant. That constant was Jeter on the New York Yankees, knowing we’d see No. 2 gracing our television screens season after season.
It may seem ridiculous, insane and even crazy. But it is true. This what we grew up with. This is all we have known for years on end.
He was the first player that literally demanded our attention by his play. We weren’t alive during the days of Jackson and Mantle so all we have to go off of is Jeter.
— BudweiserUSA (@budweiserusa) May 12, 2017
This is the only incredible history we’ve witnessed. So yes, we’re going to make a big deal about it.
Once-in-a-lifetime players rarely come around. We were lucky enough to witness our once-in-a-lifetime player in the beginning of our young lives. And we got spoiled when Jeter was dropped into our lives.
Jeter spoiled young fans with success and showered them with riches. He gave us the absolute best when we didn’t even ask for it. This might be it for millennials. This might be the last time Yankees fans get to grow up alongside a true legend for a long time.
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) May 14, 2017
Young fans have Mike Trout, just like we grew up with Jeter. But no matter what, there will never be another Jeter in our lifetime. There might never be another Jeter in our children’s lifetimes.
Think about the impact that Jeter had on the entire baseball world. He earned the respect of every franchise, every fan. But he made a bigger impact on the millennials than many people realize.
He served as the perfect role model for impressionable young people. He was the best of his era and his career coincides perfectly with the lives of millennials.
Watching Derek Jeter officially leave the game is like saying goodbye to a childhood friend. He helped shape us into the people we are today and the people we are to become.
Derek Jeter may be defined by his career but it is Jeter himself who has defined us. Millennials may get on the nerves of the Baby Boomers but one thing is for sure; They have been schooled by the ultimate teacher in Jeter.
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