New York Yankees great Derek Jeter was finally officially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, along with Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and late labor pioneer Marvin Miller. Wednesday’s event was baseball’s first induction ceremony since July 21, 2019; the 2020 ceremony was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2021 ceremony was postponed so that fans would be in attendance.
Jeter, the celebrated captain of the NY Yankees, led baseball’s most storied franchise to seven pennants and five World Series titles during a 20-year career in which he had 3,465 hits, the sixth-highest total in big league history. He began his speech by thanking his family, saying that his father “was my first idol” and recounting how as a child he developed an early love for the Yankees by playing whiffle ball in the backyard in full pinstripes, while imitating former Yankee Dave Winfield.
Jeter has long said that the only thing he ever wanted to do in baseball was to play shortstop for the New York Yankees, and that doing so was “one of the greatest honors of my life.” He added that his goal as a Yankee was to “win more than everybody else — and we did.” Closing out his acceptance speech, Jeter said: “It’s been a hell of a ride.”
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