Ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, one in which the Yankees will retire his number 2 to Monument Park, Derek Jeter took to his website, The Players’ Tribune, to express his love and appreciation for New York City.
Thank you, New York, for asking a lot of me. For challenging me. For giving this kid a place to grow up. I wasn’t born a New Yorker — you asked me to earn it. I wasn’t born a Yankee, but you made me into one.
Everyone comes to this city with dreams of being No. 1. You showed me that being No. 2 was more than enough.
Jeter’s digital letter comes accompanied by a short video featuring real-life citizens of the Big Apple reciting his warm, endearing words with a matching grace of their own. One of Jeter’s greatest traits — the ability to make his fans feel like they really matter; their chants, letters, signs, all push him — comes alive once again, as if he’s a part of the new, surging Yanks of 2017.
But the fact is, he’s not. Once his jersey retires to its rightful place on Mother’s Day, Jeter will more than likely assume the role of Marlins co-owner, alongside Jeb Bush and a now-anonymous collection of investors. Sorry, New York, it’s only business. But if there’s any city that understands the business of sports more than any other, it’s “the Big City.”