To the dismay of many haters across the globe and pleasure of millions of New York Yankees fans, Derek Jeter was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, cementing his legacy in the sport.
What a career. And really, what an existence. Jeter has been famously known to handle just about everything with class. His former teammates have nothing but good things to say about him. Opponents have done nothing but tip their caps. There’s not a single Yankees fan out there who has an issue with The Captain. Yes, we’ll confidently say that.
Despite the grand stage that surrounded his induction, the thousands in attendance and millions watching at home, Jeter made sure to keep the mood light when opportunities presented themselves, and he delivered right off the bat when he started thanking people when he began his speech.
Jeter spent 20 years keeping it serious, straightforward and honest with the media when faced with the toughest of questions. So why not finally slip in a joke about the media when the entire world is watching?
As you know very well, Jeter fell ONE vote short (396 out of 397) of becoming the second ever unanimous electee to the Hall of Fame, and the writer who left him off the ballot has not come forward, opting to keep their 2020 ballot private.
Nonetheless, Jeter acknowledged him/her with a dig for the ages.
Yankees legend Derek Jeter took a shot at the writer who left him off the ballot.
Probably one of those folks who thought he was “overrated” for whatever reason. OK. Carry on! We have a legend to enshrine!
Jeter knew he landed the joke perfectly, smiling the moment he said the final syllable as the crowd roared in approval. The man knows how to command the room, and kickstarting his speech in this manner perfectly set the tone for his messaging throughout … in the best way possible.
The five-time World Series champion left nobody out of it. He covered all his tracks and credited everyone who’s been integral to his unexpected rise in becoming one of the best players to ever step foot on a baseball field. He thanked the other Hall of Famers who shared the stage with him on Wednesday — Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker — and expressed his gratitude for their presence alongside him and how they’ll be attached in some way for the rest of time.
But what kind of speech would it have been had he not addressed the elephant in the room? In his final moments before baseball immortality, Jeter even handled a somewhat touchy subject and perfectly-timed dig with class.