Life comes at us fast, so fast that in many ways we may miss the things we would have enjoyed the most, and experience the things we’d rather forget. There’s a baseball game on the schedule tonight and weather permitting, it could be one of those nights that I’m sure will provide a lifetime of memories, so I’m not planning on missing it. It’s Derek Jeter’s last game in Yankee Stadium.
Nowadays, at age fifty, I sometimes find myself pining for the days ...when running to a park to meet a few friends on a sunny Saturday in hopes of getting into a pick-up game of three on three was the greatest joy in my life. Back in those days, if there was an empty diamond, taking infield grounders and shagging fly balls was the best of all days. The milestone of turning fifty is such a personal event that this year I’ve been very introspective, and those things happening outside of my life have only mildly been interesting. I’ve also become acutely aware of how little most of those things outside my family and friends matter; things like major league baseball. But not tonight. Tonight, yes at age fifty, I will feel like a kid again, and watch each pitch with enthusiasm and pride.
"There may be people who have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do - and I believe that."
“I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee… fan.”
Derek Jeter has brought so much more to the joy of being a Yankees fan. His on field heroics only scratch the surface of who he truly is. I will remember many of the big hits and spectacular plays, but what I will mostly take away from his career is leadership, tenacity for the game and an unparalleled stewardship of his role as a superstar. Just yesterday, four games before he retires he was telling reporters in the locker room how disappointing it was to be eliminated from the playoffs. Saying that guys who’ll be back next year ought to remember how bad it feels to be eliminated. I will watch tonight along with everyone else who has an ounce of pinstripe blood in their system and what we witness we won’t soon forget.
There will be cheers, and ovations, and smiles, and tears. But most of all there will be a living legend named Derek Jeter playing his last game in a cathedral called Yankee Stadium. Good luck DJ.