New Yorkers said goodbye to their beloved captain of 20 years last night.
While it was an emotional evening, you couldn’t have scripted a better finale for Derek Jeter’s farewell game at Yankee Stadium.
His final moment was a fitting one, ending his career with celebration and bringing the city together the way only Jeter can.
He leaves behind an untouchable legacy, one noted not only for his insane work ethic, which brought New York five World Series titles since his debut in 1995, but also because of the way he carried himself all the way through. He showed us how the game is supposed to be played.
Two things separate Jeter from any other franchise icon: a) He did it in the best city in the world, and b) He never ever slipped up.
For that, and for many more reasons, there won’t be another one of his kind for a very long time.
Considering all of the distractions that come with playing in New York, Jeter consistently rose above it all. He played the game with a level of class you can’t just fake, and like many other great men before him, he always preached one thing: hard work.
Here are 20 quotes that embody his work ethic.
On why you should never follow the grain:
I went to school on Senior Skip Day.
On why it’s never too late to learn something new:
I’d like to get a degree. You ever see the movie ‘Back to School?’ I’ll go back with my kids.
On focusing on the bigger picture:
I want to own a team one day. You know, that’s my next goal.
On why he’s the most competitive person ever:
I’m very, very competitive. If my grandmother asks to race me down the street, I’m going to try to beat her. And I’ll probably enjoy it!
On why you can’t judge a book by its cover:
You can’t quantify everything a player does to win games.
On why you should work out every morning:
I like to hit the gym early in the morning. I feel better throughout the day when I get in a workout first thing in the morning.
On hard work trumping everything else:
There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do — and I believe that.
On listening before you speak:
I get asked enough questions, I try not to ask too many questions.
On being around likeminded individuals:
Surround yourself with good people. People who are going to be honest with you and look out for your best interests.
On dealing with all of the skeptics and haters:
I love it when people doubt me. It makes me work harder to prove them wrong.
On why losing should never be an option:
If you're going to play at all, you're out to win. Baseball, board games, playing Jeopardy, I hate to lose.
On being yourself no matter what:
You gotta have fun. Regardless of how you look at it, we're playing a game. It's a business, it's our job, but I don't think you can do well unless you're having fun.
On why being a positive influence is what’s most important:
Obviously, you're known for what you do. But you still want to be known as a good person. You're a person a lot longer before and after you're a professional athlete.
On what it takes to be focused:
I think when things linger, that's when they become a distraction. I don't want any distractions.
On being careful about people’s intentions:
When I meet someone, the first thing is, ‘What does this person want?’ And I put up a defense mechanism. But I’ve always been that way.
On why it’s important to ask questions and learn:
I’ve always had an interest in business, and my interest in business has really expanded over the years.
On doing everything with all of your heart:
If I put my name on something, I’m going to be involved. I’m not just going to put my name on it and not pay attention.
On why he is the man he has become today:
You’re a person a lot longer before and after you’re a professional athlete. People always say to me, ‘Your image is this, your image is that.’ Your image isn’t your character. Character is what you are as a person. That’s what I worry about.
On why we shouldn’t judge women and their spending habits:
You hear about women buying shoes? I buy DVDs. I definitely have a problem.
On what playing for the Yankees meant to him:
God, I hope I wear this jersey forever.
Photo Courtesy: Instagram
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