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Person of The Week : Derek Jeter

Person of The Week : Derek Jeter
By: Jazmine Montgomery

No matter who your favorite baseball team is , or if you like baseball at all the one man that is highly respected in the sport would have to be Derek Jeter .

Derek Sanderson Jeter was born June 26,1974 in Pequannock Township , New Jersey . The Jeter’s lived in New Jersey until Derek was 4 years old , they then moved to Kalamazoo , Michigan . Derek and his younger sister spent their summers in New Jersey visiting their grandparents , who took them to Yankee games just about every summer . Derek became a true passionate fan of the Yankees , Dave Winfield inspired him to pursue a career in baseball .

Jeter attended Kalamazoo High school where he was an all around athlete . He ran cross country in the fall , played basketball in the winter , and played baseball in the spring . The sport that he loved the most was baseball , Jeter set major records while in high school . By the time Derek was a senior in high school he had earned an All-State  honorable mention as one of the best high school players in Michigan , The Kalamazoo Area B’nai Gatorade High School Player of the Year award , and USA today’s High School Player of the Year .

In 1992, Jeter entered the MLB draft straight out of high school where he was drafted to the Yankee’s minor league team  Gulf Coast Yankees that was based in Tampa , Florida . By 1995 Jeter was the fourth best prospect player , which earned him a spot on the New York Yankees as a starting short stop . Jeter had a rocky start to his first MLB season , he was demoted to class AAA Columbus and was considered inactive on the Yankees roster .

In the start of the 1996 season , the Yankees new manager Joe Torre wanted to start Jeter since Tony Fernandez injuries . George Steinbrenner was still skeptical about starting young prospects , and his advisor Clyde King observed Jeter at spring training and thought the same thing that Jeter was not ready . There was almost a trade made between the Yankees Pitcher Mariano Rivera and the Miami Marlins shortstop Felix Fermin ,  but The Yankee’s General Manger had faith in Jeter starting .

On opening day in 1996 Derek Jeter was the first rookie in Yankee history since 1962 to start in a game . Jeter hit his first MLB home run on opening day , leading to the beginning to a great rookie season & career for Jeter .The Yankees won the 1996 World Series against the Atlanta Braves , and Jeter was voted The Rookie of The Year . Two years later Jeter was voted AL Most Valuable Player , selected for his first of 14 MLB All Star game and won his second world series with the New York Yankees .

Jeter would go on to make a serious name for himself with  the Yankees . In 1999 , Jeter led the major leagues in hits and tallied career highs in home runs , and RBI’s , and in 2000 became the first player ever in  MLB history to be named the All Star Game & World Series MVP in the same season . Derek Jeter had his first setback in 2003 when he faced his first major injury in 2003 . On opening day Jeter collided with Ken Huckabay of the Toronto BlueJays , the injury put Jeter out all season . In 2004 , he returned back better than ever he won the first of  five gold gloves for his fielding excellence.

In  September of  2009 ,  Jeter passed Lou Gehrig with his 2,722nd  hit , which was the most in the New York Yankee franchise history . That same year he earned his 5th world championship ring as well . Two years later in July 2011 he hit his 3,000 hit making him the 28th player to reach this career high . In 2013 after an ankle injury that limited Jeter to 17 games , Jeter announced that he was retiring after the 2014 season .Derek Jeter finished with  lifetime batting average of .310 , and 3,465 hits ranked sixth in league history .

Jeter tried to remain a good example while in the league . He created the Turn 2 Foundation in 1996 to help children and teenagers avoid drug and alcohol addiction and reward those who showed high academic achievement . He also is an ambassador for replay a website designed to encourage gets to get involved in Sports .

Jeter will defintley go down in sports history for how highly respected he was on an off the field . The 2015 ESPY’s just rewarded him with Iconic Player award this past month , and Nike even had a commercial with celebrities , local New York Yankee fans , and athletes tipping their hats out of respect to one of the greatest New York athletes ever for his final season.

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