Oh Captain, My Captain

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter announced yesterday that he’s going to be retiring after this season. This isn’t a huge shock. After he was injured two seasons ago, it’s been hard for him to get back to the unbelievable level that he used to work at.

I don’t talk about sports much here, but while my love for The New York Yankees is just about as deep as my love for any character or book or movie I’ve talked about here, it’s also always felt somehow separate. But to not mark Derek’s announcement, well, I mean, that would be asking far too much of me.

I was in the fourth grade in 1996, when The Yankees had their crazy record breaking World Series Champ seasons. That was Jeter’s rookie season and to me, Jeter has simply defined the Yanks ever since. He’s always been the model of the friendly graceful and restrained outlook that all New York athletes are expected to live up to. Derek didn’t speak out about his teammates, bosses or the incredible shake ups in the Yankee organization during his time. When he was named Captain, Yankee fans, a particularly persnickety bunch when it comes to legacy cheered.

I remember when he hit his 3000th hit, we were having a party at my house, it was my graduation party and my brother left, and drove to Modell’s to buy everyone 3000th hit merchandise. It was great and I kind of love that I was surrounded so thoroughly by the people that I love during this incredibly and historic moment.

My sports fandom is intensely personal and tied in many ways to my family which is one of the reasons I don’t write about it much. Kind of like my Catholicism and my love of Bruce Springsteen, it’s such a huge part of who I am, it just sort of informs how I relate to the world around me and doesn’t much need to be analyzed. Not to say that I follow The Church blindly or that I’d defend say, Nebraska , but when I try to put it in words it all winds up sounding pretty trite.

It’s going to be hard to say good bye to this incredible player, but it’s definitely time to say good bye. Last season was difficult to watch. But there’s no question in any body’s mind that this man is going to the hall of fame.

But of course we still get another season of baseball out of him, so we don’t have to say good bye just yet! Looking forward to it Derek. The fans will miss you for always!

The Captain

Last night I was at Katherine’s birthday party. We were all having a good time. It was at a brew pub with a DJ, which was perfect. We were all dancing, laughing, and watching the Yankee’s play the Detroit Tigers. As they tied up the game in the eighth inning, the DJ started playing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” even though Mariano Rivera has been out since April. (This has been weird.)

Then the impossible happened. After diving for a ball, The Yankee Captain, Shortstop Derek Jeter had to be carried off of the field.

I actually cried

If you aren’t a baseball fan, let me explain to you how bizarre this is. Derek Jeter has been playing for the New York Yankees since 1995, he’s been an all star player for thirteen of those seasons, and the Yankees have won the World Series five times. This man finishes every game he’s in and plays in most of them.

After the game it was announced that Jeter broke his ankle and would be out for the remainder of the post season.

I don’t write about sports a lot. But I love New York Sports teams. Actually, just the Yankees and The Giants. Try though I might, I’ve never been able to get in to hockey or basketball. And there isn’t a New York sports fan, or really a sports fan who doesn’t admire Derek Jeter. He’s an amazing baseball player, a first class philanthropist, and deeply classy. He rarely speaks about anything besides the game, which he seems to take seriously, but not take seriously, you know?

Also he’s kind of attractive, if you’re in to handsome, rich, athletic, funny, charitable guys who gets a free Ford Edge every year

A post season without Derek Jeter is like Halloween without pumpkins, it feels terribly wrong. But here’s hoping the Yankees pull it together and win the world series for their now injured captain.