Author Topic: Farewell Jeter...  (Read 1200 times)

Reid Bundonis

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Farewell Jeter...
« on: September 28, 2014, 09:48:21 PM »
I am a Detroit Tigers fan.  I have been since watching Fidrych pitch to the Yankees way back when.  I was a young boy but he captivated me and ever since, despite being born and breed in New Jersey (in the shadow of New York), I continue to be a Tiger's fan.  I followed Trammel, Whitaker, and my favorite, Evans for years.  This evolved into Brookens, and Gibson, Bonderman, Robertson, and yes... Inge.  I loved Inge.  He alone brought me back to baseball after the resentment of the strike.  Today it is Martinez (JD) and Avila (good lord, how can anyone take that much abuse), and Sanchez. And yes, I have had my Yankee hating years.

But Derek Jeter is a hero to all of us.  A hero for being a baseball player, an honest person, and a person who achieved the American dream.  He is a hero to all of us who toil day after day doing what is right.  Being honest, taking the road less traveled, avoiding the shortcut to success.  Telling customers what it right and just, not what is most profitable.  Striving to be the tech who dives head first into the crowd to save the customer from disaster.  Being the tech who anticipates the play to cut off the run from scoring.  Being there for the long term with a career of stats that show the dedication to your craft.  Not the tech who does a hit and run to make the cash and disappear.

Jeter has played for 20 years and has embodied everything that is right about the game and the American dream.  Work hard and you will be rewarded.  Work hard and you will succeed.  Work hard and achieve the next level of the American ladder of success.  Go out everyday and give it your all.  A chopper to short... run hard to first.  A dribbler to third... run hard to first.  Despite the inevitable failure, you give it your absolute all.  Hold nothing back.  Anything can happen in those 90 feet.  Make sure you are in position to take advantage of the situation when it turns in your favor.

As the 2014 season concludes I am happy (relieved) that the Tigers have secured their 4th consecutive division title.  But the retirement of Jeter, despite the year long fawning of adulation, is all that I can think of.  He was not my shortstop.  Trammel is the only one that permeates my memory with maybe Ripken sliding in every now and again.  But he exemplifies the ability to rise above his position and take the high road.  Realize that the role is above the man.  Realize that he is working toward a higher goal.  A goal that reaches beyond his own accomplishments.  He is the embodiment of hard work, perseverance, and dedication.  Dedication to doing the right thing, perseverance to pursuit the right path despite influences that nudge otherwise, and embracing the hard work that results in success.  Hard work without shortcuts...  Yes that hard work may mean going 0 for 16 but the 17th at bat is a home run, justifying the failure of the other 16 attempts.

Over the last 20 years I am not sure I realized what we had.  But now in his absence, baseball is a little less... credible.  Suspicion lurks in every shadow across the box.  Scandal mars the game.  Yet Jeter entered and exits the game pure and unsullied.  To this, I shed a tear.

Thank you for all the years.  I am sad that it took until your last to truly appreciate your contribution.  May your legacy influence a new generation of Americans to embrace the rewards of hard work, perseverance, and dedication.  This reaches beyond the diamond.  Work hard.  Play hard.  Live well.  Thank you for the lesson in life.  May others learn form it.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 09:50:34 PM by Reid Bundonis »