Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Derek Jeter: Shaping the Arc of My Life

By Deven Del Priore

Ever since I was a boy and knew what baseball was, I knew who Derek Jeter was. I didn’t just know who he was though, I adored him. He has been my role model since I found out what baseball was.

When I was younger, my dad would always try to get me to like the Mets, by buying me jerseys and other apparel that represented them. On the other hand, my mom was a big Yankee’s fan. So, she would buy me a bunch of Yankee shirts and jerseys so the Yankees would be my favorite team. I think its safe to say that my mom out shopped my dad and got me to like the Yankees. Once she knew I liked the Yankees, she threw Derek Jeter directly in my head.

At first I just thought he was my favorite player, but as I got older I realized he is more than that. He was a role model that represents how the game should be played, and how you should carry yourself on the baseball field.

He was not only a big influence on the game itself, he was also a big influence on why I started playing the game. I loved baseball, but Jeter made me obsessed with it. I would watch Jeter play as much as I could so I could take some tips on how he hit, or how he threw. In my eyes he was perfect and I would do anything to be just like him. I always want to strive to be the best, and Jeter gave me that drive to do so because that’s the kind of attitude he had. That’s the the kind of influence Jeter had on my player career at a young age, which I carried throughout my life up until today.

Jeter was drafted in 1992, right out of Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan. Although Jeter was born in New Jersey, he moved to Michigan when he was four years old with his sister Sharlee. Jeter would spend summers with his grandparents, where they would take him to Yankees games, and watch Dave Winfield. This is where he became a true fan of the game.

Now, Derek Jeter has been playing baseball ever since I was born, which was in 1995. He is now retiring in 2014, and this will be called his farewell tour. Every time he goes to a new stadium he gets everyone out of their seat, because everyone in that stadium knows they are looking at one of the best players in baseball history. The fans aren’t the only ones who give him recognition though. The organizations Jeter has been playing with throughout his entire career give him the utmost respect, and reward him on his outstanding career by giving him a gift in symbol of saying “farewell.”

It’s not going to be the same not seeing Derek Jeter wearing the pinstripes anymore, since I’ve been seeing it my entire life.

Deven Del Priore is a student at Saint Thomas Aquinas College. “I am undecided right now, but am leaning toward the Communication Arts field. I am on academic and athletic scholarship here to play baseball for the Spartans. I play catcher, and I give all the credit for me being where I am in my baseball career to my father. I live in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. I am nineteen years young and when I get older I hope to be a successful coach and journalist for a company in New York City.”

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