The Captain – Yankees Derek Jeter Wraps in 2014
When I was a kid, in the Nineteen fifties, not as long ago as Chad would have you believe, we studied this Walt Whitman poem about the death of Abraham Lincoln.
Oh, Captain, my Captain! Our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won...
Chad sent me a text this afternoon that Derek Jeter, the Captain of the New York Yankees was retiring after the 2014 season. Rats! He announced it on his Facebook page. Big fan I am; I didn't even know he had a Facebook page.
The Captain -- one of the few Captains the Yankees have ever had -- will be gone from Major League Baseball this time next year. He will join all the greats from the greatest baseball team of all time -- in my opinion -- the 1998 New York Yankees.
Two seasons back he got his 3,000th hit -- a home run in true Jeter fashion -- which you can watch below.
Another way he could have struck it was an inside pitch, with arms in and belted between the second and first basemen into right field -- a style that came to be referred to as "Jeterian". Love that.
I thought he had a shot at Pete Roses' Major League record of 4,256 hits if Jeter could stay healthy. Alas, that was not to be. An ankle injury during the playoffs of 2012 and returning too soon last year did damage to his 39 year old body and, thus his shot at the pinnacle.
Another Yankee, the steroid bloated Alex Rodriguez, had a shot at the home run record -- tainted though it may be by the equally bloated Barry Bonds -- but, that, too is something I shall not see.
Oh Captain, my Captain! Rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills;
Over at Townsquare Interactive, the corporate boys wrote the following:
The Yankees drafted Jeter out of high school in 1992 and he eventually made his debut wearing pinstripes in 1995. Despite being one of the greatest franchises in American sports history, the Yankees were thirsty for success when he arrived to the Bronx.
Having failed to make a postseason appearance since 1981, New York returned to the playoffs in 1995 and won the World Series in 1996, the same year Jeter would win the Rookie of the Year Award. The team would make it to the World Series six of his first eight full seasons, winning in four of those appearances.
Playing for a franchise known for some of the all-time greats in the sport, Jeter's legacy will be comparable to anyone that ever played in Yankee Stadium. Among the many accomplishments he's achieved over 19 seasons, the most notable are 13 All-Star appearances, one All-Star Game MVP (2000), eight 200-hit seasons (tied for fourth in MLB history), and 3,316 career hits (ninth in MLB history).
The Michigan native became just the 28th player to join the 3,000 hit club on July 9, 2011, doing so in dramatic fashion.
If Jeter can add 200 more hits in his final season, he'll finish fifth all-time in career hits.
In an era plagued by steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, Jeter avoided the controversy and, by all accounts, played the game the right way. Now, just a little more than four months after another Yankee great rode off into the sunset, the man they call "Mr. November" will don the vaunted pinstripes for the final time in his 20th MLB season.
Exult, old shores and ring old bells!
I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen, cold and dead.