Adoring A Dynasty

I sat down at my television awhile back and saw a commercial for documentary on HBO that I knew I had to watch. When I searched for the air time so I could record it, I couldn’t find it. I tried to post a sticky note to my brain to not forget but somehow I did. And then I recently sat back down and flipped to my HBO channels and saw it. Derek Jeter 3K. I was thrilled and recorded it, plus watched it right then and there. And then I cried.

I’m a life long fan of the New York Yankees. But my love for them grew when as I got older and could better grasp the game. And it became the strongest when Derek Jeter begun playing for them in 1995, sixteen years ago.

derek jeterFor sixteen years I have watched Derek Jeter play for the New York Yankees with what I would describe as a youthful enthusiasm. When we were kids we would run out onto the field with our big league chewing gum, our batting glove tucked in out pants of the awkward fitting uniforms and our punch our glove like a pro. We were excited for the start of the game and imagined becoming the best of the best in our home town leagues. We would swing away at pitches that shouldn’t have been swung at and inside the dugout we would scream for out team members. Our lives during those moments revolved solely around the game.

Derek seems to hold those moments as an adult. You watch him in the dugout, his head entirely in the game, cheering his teammates on and discussing pitching and hitting strategy with the teammates next to him. On the field his in the zone, ready to pounce and make his trademark double plays that are outstanding. And we as fans, we feel that. We channel his enthusiasm and his passion. We heighten our senses and the game, just second game in three game series, becomes comparable to the final game of a World Series. It matters. It all matters.

As Derek Jeter in the HBO documentary is preparing to play and being followed around by cameras there is a humbleness to him. He’s professional and determined. He may or may not know how great he really is. Just as he may or may not know that he is playing for one of the greatest sports time ever. He’s confident but not egotistical. We should all take a few pointers from him.  And as parents, we should all take a few pointers from his parents.

At one point Jeter walks under the infamous sign and quote; “I’d like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee”, and he taps it. I wonder as he does this if this is a ritual or routine of his. I wonder how much pride he holds inside and doesn’t let show. Jeter ignites in us the fans, the same thing that he ignites in his teammates and it’s hard to pinpoint just what it is. Is it determination? Excitement? Pride? Motivation? I’m not sure. But when I watch Jeter and I watch the Yankees, I set my mind up to succeed. I promise myself to live out my dreams and passions. When I fail I get upset, but I remember that tomorrow, well tomorrow I do better then today.

So as the show comes to an end and I wipe away the tears I realize that everyday is my nine innings. I can hit 3000 hits, I can be an All-Star and I could pitch a perfect game. I have nine innings everyday to do these things, to reach those milestones. And I will be humble in my journey, I will thank those who support me, who believe in me and who have been my teammates. But in the end, all that matters is the big one.

I will win my World Series and I will take my team with me.