Roger Clemens is now on trial facing perjury charges. Barry Bonds has been convicted of obstruction of justice. Pacman Jones has just been arrested again; Tiger Woods hasn’t won a golf tournament since he was exposed as a serial adulterer. Through the travails and embarrassments of all of these and many more tarnished athletes who were once looked upon as cultural heroes, Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter has remained a constant— a team player, a clutch player, and an undeniably great player who has maintained his integrity and high values of competition and sportsmanship, never betraying the trust of his fans, his city, his team, or his game.
Yesterday Jeter reached 3000 hits, the watermark of the greatest of the greats, becoming the only lifetime New York Yankee to do so. He achieved the magic number with the flair only special players can muster, rising to a grand occasion like Ted Williams, hitting a home run in his final at bat, or Cal Ripken, marking his passing of Lou Gehrig’s “iron man” record for consecutive games with a homer. Yesterday, Jeter passed 3000 in a rush, going 5 for 5 with the hit # 3000 being, yes, a round-tripper. Continue reading