Sunday night yet another New York Yankee’s jersey was retired! The ceremony for Derek Jeter was awesome and fitting. A lifelong Yankee fan, I was blessed to watch “The Captain” play for his entire 20 year career. All-time he didn’t hit the most home runs, steal the most bases, or have the highest batting average. No, all he did was play the game the way it should be played.With style, grace, respect, and a work ethic unmatched by anyone. Not to mention, a gentleman off the field.
He made the news because of his accomplishments, not because he failed drug tests, got shot at a night club, arrested for drunk driving, or beating his wife. Because he was/is a role model for all, no matter your age, occupation, sports affiliation, or race. Overall, the best athlete I’ve had the pleasure to follow. In my opinion,the greatest baseball player ever to don any uniform. In any other sport, he would still have been the greatest.
Although it’s 3 years away, I’ve been thinking about the voting for the Hall of Fame and the percentage of the vote Derek Jeter will get. Over the years, the baseball writers (BBWAA) have ticked me off. No player has ever received 100% of the votes cast. Not Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, Mantle,Robinson,Koufax etc. Ken Griffey Jr. received the highest percentage of the votes @ 99.3! I love Junior,but 4% more votes than the Babe?
Years ago, I always thought the voters were harsh. I will always believe that Pete Rose should be in the HOF. And Barry Bonds. And some others.But not the omnipotent BBWAA. I believe that they have loosened up some in their criteria for induction. Often I wonder which writers voted against the Babe and others. Did they want perfection? Did they just not like them as a person? Or did their power of the vote go to their heads?
Few things bother me as much as the imperfect demanding perfection. As the BBWAA’s criteria seems to be. In three years, it would be great to see Derek Jeter as the only inductee. That’s probably a pipe dream, but if it’s perfection they seek, I hope their eyes are wide open come voting time. It’s right in front of them.