Derek Jeter Hall of Fame
Utica Observer Dispatch

In the first episode of ESPN’s “The Captain,” we learned about Derek Jeter and his path to the Yankees.

In the second, we get a unique look at his coming of age with the Yankees.

Picking up right where the first episode ended, we learn things about the 1996 team previously forgotten, unrealized, unknown, and everything in between. The fans were twice shocked by popular manager Buck Showalter being fired and the legendary Don Mattingly retiring. Joe Torre barely had a chance from the start.

And most important of all, we learn of the Derek Jeter season that almost wasn’t. Tony Fernandez breaking his arm shoved aside any of the youngster’s spring struggles. Jeter wasn’t the Opening Day shortstop because he earned it, but perhaps out of necessity.

The rest is history, starting with his first career home run off Dennis Martinez. Two World Series rings in three years later, a legend was born.

But there’s more than just baseball in this chapter of “The Captain” too. The almost-secret celebrity life of a 20-something Derek Jeter gets some attention, namely his friendship with Sean “Puffy” Combs.

The first glimpse of Alex Rodriguez sets up drama down the road. We get a short look at Jeter’s prickly relationship with Yankees brass. With five episodes remaining, this is still just the tip of the iceberg.

Above all else, the latest episode of “The Captain” confirms what we’ve long known, and that is anyone doubting Jeter does so at their own risk. He takes anyone doubting him very personally, almost with a steel-blue Arya Stark mindset.

“There’s a list in my head of people who doubted me,” the Hall of Famer says near the episode’s close.

“I remember exactly what you said, and when you said it, and what you were wearing when you said it.”

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.