Monday, February 17, 2014

Oh Captain, My Captain: Retirement of Derek Jeter

By: Bennett Schiff

Whether you’re a diehard Red Sox fan, or bleed pinstripes, seeing Derek Jeter hang up his spikes will be a very sad moment. Jeter has been the face of the New York Yankees, and arguably all of baseball, for the last decade, and will create a huge whole on not only the left side of the Yankee infield when he retires, but also in the clubhouse. This will mark the second consecutive year that the Yankees will have one of their greats go on a farewell tour, as future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera took one in 2013.

Derek Jeter was quite the prize in the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft, which was apparent to former Houston Astros scout Hal Newhouser. At the time, the Astros controlled the number one overall pick, and Newhouser urged the team to draft the young shortstop from Kalamazoo Central High School. The Astros, however, were concerned that Jeter would want too much money as a signing bonus, and thus selected Phil Nevin with the first pick; a move that angered Newhouser so much that he decided to quit his job. Not only would the Astros pass on Jeter, but also the Indians, Expos, Orioles, and Reds all selected various college players. It was not until the sixth pick, owned by the Yankees, did Jeter get the call. Jeter had an athletic scholarship to go play at the University of Michigan, but with the help of scout Dick Groch, Jeter made the decision to sign with the Yankees. When asked if he though Jeter would have go to Michigan, Groch responded with, “the only place Derek Jeter's going is to Cooperstown.”

The 2014 schedule was released before Jeter announced his big news, and this made certain teams very happy. Jeter will play his last game in Yankee Stadium on Thursday, September 25th against the Orioles. This game is sure to get definite nation-wide coverage, as on the chance the Yankees do not make the playoffs, it will be Jeter’s last time wearing pinstripes in the Bronx. The team that may have lucked out from Jeter’s announcement the most is the Boston Red Sox, the team slated to host Jeter’s final regular season games. According to TiqIQ, a website that buys and resells tickets, the cheapest price of a ticket on February 13th for that game was $26. Fast forward three hours after Jeter’s announcement, no tickets are cheaper than $200. The average price skyrocketed to $1,153.01, an increase of over 250%. Ace Ticket, a Boston-based ticket broker, raised its price of bleacher seats from $129 to $249, and a field box from $275 to $349. All the prices of Yankee home games during late August and September have also risen.

Derek Jeter has been the starting shortstop for the Yankees since 1996, the same year that most students who are set to graduate high school were born.  Along the way, Jeter has received many award and accomplishments, including Rookie of the Year in 1996, five Gold Gloves, five Silver Sluggers, 13 All-Star Game selections, two Hank Aaron awards, five World Series Championships, and the 2000 World Series MVP. On July 9th, 2011, Jeter hit a home run off of Tampa Bay’s David Price for his 3000th career hit.

Derek Jeter has played a career that very few have done before him, and very few will do after him. He is guaranteed a plaque in not only Monument Hall in Yankee Stadium, but also a plaque in the Hall of Fame. He has poured his heart on the diamond, and the fans are ready to reward him. When Jeter does start his farewell tour, each seat that is filled will have been overpaid for, but with good reason. Saying goodbye to number 2 will be hard, but so is playing All Star caliber baseball for 18 years, and Jeter did that just fine.

Bennett Schiff is a freshman in the Drexel Sport Management program, and one of the few members of the major from the powerful state of Rhode Island. He has volunteered for the U.S. Open of Squash held at Drexel as well as becoming a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. Prior to arriving on Drexel's campus, Schiff was very active in his local community with his synagogue.

No comments:

Post a Comment