In case you've been living under a rock this past week, you've heard Derek Jeter retired from the game of baseball. Arguably one of the greatest baseball players of all-time on the best franchise in the history of the MLB.
What's stood out even more than his illustrious career, is him as a person. Jeter has played in the league for 20-years and is considered one of the greatest leaders and class acts in the game. Everybody who has known Jeter has nothing but great things to say about the guy, and in the professional sports world this a feat in itself.
There are things all athletes can learn from the career from Jeter, and below are 3 things athletes should take notice too.
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Jeter is a model of consistency and a guy that plays day in and day out, not to mention he plays what is considered to be the leader of the defense - Shortstop. Overall, Jeter played for 20-years with a career batting average of .310, hit 260 homeruns, drove in 1311 runs, and scored 1923 times.
Check this out, in his first full season he hit .314, had 10 homeruns, 78 RBI's, and scored 104 runs. In his 18th full season he hit .316, 15 homeruns, 58 RBI's, and scored 99 runs. Not only that, in his 19 full years in the bigs, he played in 145 or more games in 16/19 seasons. If that's not a model of consistency, I don't know what is. Jeter has also said that he's within 5lbs of the weight he was during his rookie season, meaning he's a guy that takes care of his body and the does little things that allow him to be great.
Half the battle is showing up, day in and day out, and putting your best effort on the field and Jeter did that. He played through pain, played when he was tired and beat up, and played when he didn't feel his best. He didn't make excuses, he showed up and performed, this is admirable and something all athletes should take note.
2. Let His Game Speak
If there is one thing all competitors say about Jeter is he respected the game and played it the right way. He wasn't cocky, didn't try to show anybody up, played hard, played with respect, and played the game the right way.
He didn't talk about himself or try to subtract from other players/teams; he let his game speak for itself. It's a breath of fresh air to hear this as all you ever hear today is players talking about themselves or trying to tear down another player. It's great to have confidence, but these kind of antics are over the top and don't win you over any admirers.
Jeter let his game do the talking and his game did the most talking when the game is on the line. He has been given the nickname, "Mr. Clutch" for good reason. Just think about his last week - He ended his final game at Yankee Stadium with a walk off RBI to win the game. Then he ended his final career at-bat with a hit. All great players step-up when the game is on the line, and Jeter did this as well as any.
Walk the walk, don't talk the talk.
The guy is going to be a 1st ballot Hall of Famer, was Rookie of the Year, been a All-Star 14-times, won 5 Gold Gloves, won 5 Silver Sluggers, was MVP of both the World Series and All-Star game, and was a World Champion 5 times. If anybody is in a situation to be cocky, it's Jeter, yet you never hear anything.
The guy goes about his business, avoids negative headlines, and play the game the right way. He's humble, down to earth, and respectful of the game and it's history. If you haven't seen this commercial of Jeter, it's a must see. Plus it's got ole Franky Sinatra music leading it, so it's even more awesome!
Take note athletes - Be humble, be consistent, and let your game speak for itself.
Go Get 'Em!