April 10, 2014
For over a century, baseball as been branded the "national pastime" or "national game.” With its reputation as America’s beloved sport, the baseball industry has spurred various household names for both die-hard fans and casual observers alike. A name that immediately comes to mind is Derek Jeter, the renowned captain and shortstop of the New York Yankees.
On Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m., in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House, Jeter will appear as the next guest in Hamilton’s Sacerdote Great Names Series.
One of the most prominent and successful franchises in professional sports history, the Yankees have won 27 World Series championships, 40 American League pennants, and 18 division titles, all of which are MLB records.
Jeter, whose career with the Yankees is in its 20th year, is known for his work ethic and dedication to the game of baseball. Currently, he is a five-time World Series champion and, on July 9, 2011, became part of baseball’s exclusive 3,000-hit club.
“I’ll have plenty to say during the course of the year, but no player in my time has represented this sport any better than Derek Jeter,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said upon the Yankees shortstop’s February announcement of his intentions to retire after the 2014 season. “He really has, in many ways, been the face of baseball, and I am proud of him. He’s just been a great player on the field, but to be frank with you, a better person off the field.”
Jeter has been considered one of baseball’s most marketable players since the beginning of his career. He has developed strong corporate partnerships with various well-known brands, such as Apollo Jets, Avon, Gatorade, Steiner Sports and 24 Hour Fitness.
His unforgettable baseball career has been reflected in acclaimed books, including The New York Times bestseller, The Life You Imagine (2001), which he co-wrote, and You’re a Star (2002). This past November, Jeter and Simon & Schuster announced a partnership that would establish a Jeter Publishing imprint. This division will incorporate adult non-fiction titles, children’s picture books, middle grade fiction and ready-to-read children’s books.
Jeter has earned a strong reputation as an unmatched leader both on and off the field and gained the respect of teammates and opponents alike. Jeter’s passion for inspiring the nation’s youth to make life choices by fostering academic excellence, leadership development and positive behavior led him to establish the Turn 2 Foundation in 1996. In regions such as West Michigan, Tampa, Fla., and New York City, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $19 million in grants to create and support signature programs that encourage adolescents to fight the pressure to indulge in drugs and alcohol and to choose to follow healthy lifestyles.
Nationally, Jeter has been recognized for his athletic skill and his philanthropic commitment to community service through numerous accolades, including: the World Series MVP (2000); 13 MLB All-Star nods; five Gold Glove Awards; five Silver Slugger Awards; AL Rookie of the Year honors (1996); the Roberto Clemente Award (2009); the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award (2009); The Sporting News Good Guy in Sports Award (2002); the Michigan Association of School Administrators Champion for Children Award (2005); the Joe Torre Safe at Home MVP Award (2010); and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (2010). Recently, in 2012, Siena College recognized Jeter with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his leadership, accomplishments on the baseball field, and dedication to improving the lives of young people through the Turn 2 Foundation.
Throughout his career, Jeter has contributed reliably to the Yankees' franchise successes as well as the overall popularity of entire baseball league. In welcoming one of the most heavily marketed athletes and youth advocates of this generation, the Hamilton community will undoubtedly learn that the pride one gains from giving back to the community is just as powerful as that cultivated by personal achievement.
More details about the Great Names lecture will be released in September.