Derek Jeter’s Hall of Fame speech was as expected; full of substance about everyone except himself.
This afternoon, New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Thousands of fans were in attendance along with a who’s who of baseball history, including several former Yankees.
As usual, Jeter proved the ultimate team player and was in Captain mode from the get-go. In a 15-minute speech, Jeter was overwhelmingly grateful to everyone in his life. His family. Good friends. Former teammates and coaches. Even Michael Jordan was in attendance.
And of course, Derek Jeter did it his way with nary a mention of himself. Even on a day for him and his fellow Hall of Fame inductees, with everything set up for him to be the center of attention at some point, the Hall of Fame shortstop still stayed humble.
Jeter touched on playing wiffleball in his grandmother’s yard in New Jersey, his home state before the family moved to Michigan. This led to playing family pickup games on the Kalamazoo Central High School field on weekends, and the rest is history.
Naturally, Derek Jeter the Jokester showed up, most notably when he shouted out former Yankees trainers Steve Donohue and Gene Monahan.
“Sorry for lying to you guys all those years,” he said with a smile before explaining he only played hurt out of a duty to his team.
Jeter’s speech also included the usual bits of, “Work hard and focus and you can do whatever you want,” but it was so much more than that. The man is an absolute baseball legend whose presence alone commands a room, even more now that he owns the Miami Marlins.
And yet, Derek Jeter made it about everyone but himself.
Congratulations, Captain. Today belongs to you.