The way he shuffles his shoulders, bat cocked ever so slightly forward. How he calmly stares into the pitcher’s eyes, and leans into his back leg. Tonight, the 85th annual Major League Baseball All Star Game takes place at Target Field, and it is much watch TV. As Derek Jeter prepares to ride off into the sunset, there will be no better moment in baseball this season.
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Derek Jeter represents everything that is right with baseball, everything that is right with sports, and exemplifies everything that is necessary with competition. Derek Jeter is a man who will outwork, out hustle, and outplay even the best of competition.
For the American League All Stars, Derek Jeter will bat leadoff tonight. Whether you believe Jeter is worth of the selection, or his numbers reflect his ability is irrelevant, Derek Jeter deserves this moment.
At 40 years old, and through a career that has spanned 20 years donning the New York Yankees pinstripes, Derek Jeter has reached the pinnacle. Jeter will leave the game in a better place than he came into it, and any player will tell you, that is something they can walk away feeling proud of.
Target Field, one of the most beautiful stadiums in all of sports, will be the backdrop to a moment that will not soon be forgotten. Regardless of what sort of tribute the American League puts in place tonight, the ovation, the cheers, tears, and smiles will carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Derek Jeter is looking at walking away from a career line that speaks to the tune of a .311 avg, over 3,400 hits, and over 1,200 RBIs. No matter what those numbers say however, they don’t begin to tell the tale.
Baseball will lose a great this season when Derek Jeter steps away from the game. Arguably the greatest shortstop since Honus Wagner, and likely a shortstop no one will ever surpass again, Derek Jeter deserves your attention tonight.
A man who made young children want to jump and throw from deep in the whole, a shortstop who wore the heralded Jumpman emblazoned on his chest, and a ballplayer who competed every single night, Derek Jeter, tonight is your night, and America is at your mercy. Whether or not spectacular happens, remember to RE2PECT Jeter, because for the last 20 years, it already has.