As Derek Jeter Steps Away, Minnesota Loses the Captain As Well

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Derek Jeter is far more than just a Yankees icon, and he’s even much more than a New York icon. Derek Jeter is a baseball icon, and whether you find yourself sitting in Minnesota as a Twins fan hating the Yankees or not, he should be someone you will miss.

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The New York Yankees have just seven games remaining in their 2014 season. Those seven games represent the last times that Derek Jeter will step foot on a baseball diamond in the major leagues. Yankees Stadium, Fenway Park, Target Field, Jeter is going to be done patrolling shortstop at each of those fields.

Over the course of his 20 year career, Jeter has put him in the conversation with Honus Wagner and Ozzie Smith as some of the greatest shortstops to ever play the game of baseball. 3,400 hits, 1,300 RBIs, and 12,500 plate appearances will do that for a player.

As Twins fans, it is easy for there to be distaste towards the Yankees. After all, Minnesota is a small market club, the polar opposite of the Bronx Bombers. Ron Gardenhire has failed time in and time out to overcome the Yankees in the playoffs, and Derek Jeter has always been the poster boy of those teams.

However, stepping back from being a fan of the Twins, it comes down to baseball at its core. Derek Jeter represents something there never was, and likely, something there never will be again. While he may be better than Ozzie or Honus, he wasn’t either of them. He was Derek Jeter. He is the guy who has patented the jump throw, whose batting stance you mimicked, and whose smile undoubtedly did many in.

Derek Jeter has played 131 games against the Twins. He has hit .322 with 4 home runs, and 22 RBIs. He broke the Twins faithful’s hearts in the 2004 ALDS by erasing a 1-0 lead on a solo home run off of Brad Radke, and he led the charge in the 2009 ALDS on the way to helping the Yankees win their 27th World Series title.

As much as Derek Jeter has owned the Twins, Minnesota needs to own him as well. Baseball is the nation’s past time, and Jeter goes far beyond the pinstripes to represent baseball back to all of us.

While the Yankees finish out their 2014 regular season, missing the playoffs aside, a somber mood will befall the nation, and we are right in feeling that way. Derek Jeter will forever by the Yankees captain, he will be missed in Twins Territory, and his absence will be felt around the baseball world.

For those of you who can, take in a Yankees game in some way or another this week, Derek Jeter is stepping away from the game that he has made his life, and we are all the lesser for it. Derek, thanks for everything, and will be forever grateful for what you have done for the game.

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