Derek Jeter is a familiar name in the game of baseball. He went on to be an integral part of the New York Yankees organization. Jeter went on to win five World Series titles with the Yankees and cement himself as one of the top shortstops to ever play the game.
Before the majors, Jeter was a standout player at Kalamazoo Central High School in Michigan. He also competed in cross country and basketball. He won numerous Player of the Year awards his senior year in 1992. After high school, he was all set to attend this university before the big leagues called him.
The school Jeter was committed to
Jeter earned a scholarship to attend the University of Michigan and play baseball there. That’s what he was set on doing after high school. Michigan’s head coach at the time pushed Jeter to play in the majors.
Coach Bill Freehan, Michigan’s head coach, did not want Jeter to miss out on the opportunity. It was a tough decision for an 18-year-old, and Jeter had his heart set on attending Michigan. If he would have opted to attend Michigan, Jeter would have had to wait until his junior year to be eligible for the MLB Draft.
Who knew if he would be a first-round pick again? So, he went and signed with the Yankees. Even though Jeter never played a game at Michigan, he is as close to a Michigan man as you can get. Jeter loves to attend Michigan games, and the school will always be home to him.
Did Jeter make the right decision?
Though Jeter struggled his first year of professional baseball, the decision to go pro was the right move. Jeter experienced failure for the first time in his baseball career, and that helped mold him into the Hall of Fame baseball player that people witnessed.
During his early years in the offseason, Jeter would go back to Ann Arbor and take classes at Michigan. That helped him grow as a man. And then that translated to his game on the baseball diamond.
The 14-time All-Star went out and left it all on the field. He was a player everyone respected throughout the league. Baseball is a game of failure, and Jeter knew how to handle failure and become a better player from it.
Not only was he a baseball player, but he was a role model as well. Kids looked up to Jeter and wanted to be just like him on the field. The way he carried himself as a person made you respect him even more.
A Hall of Fame career
It was evident that Jeter would make the Hall of Fame based on the career he had. He finished with a career batting average of .310, had a total of 3,465 hits, and a total of 260 home runs.
Earlier this year, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, with 99.7 percent of the first ballot vote. Jeter was a pioneer for the game, and he will always be remembered.