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For twenty seasons, Derek Jeter was not only the face of the New York Yankees but also the face of celebrity in New York City. With his poised demeanor, winning attitude, and endless smile, Jeter warmed himself to New York like no athlete before. Kids wanted to grow up to be like Derek Jeter. Men wanted to be him. Women wanted to be with him. He embraced New York City and New York City embraced him.
Of course, it took five championships for New York to fall for Derek. People continually talked about the way he played the game. From his first full year in the majors, Derek was a star. He always came up with a hit when the Yankees needed him most. In the postseason, he raised his game to a level of titans, even if his regular season production could not match it. Still, he was a 14 time All Star, World Series MVP, and All Star Game MVP. He finished in the top three of MVP voting three times but could never bring the trophy home. While his fans were disappointed when he missed out on MVP, Derek never wavered from his commitment to the team, continually mentioning how he could best help them and not himself.
Even though he was never a power hitter, he always seemed to hit a home run at opportune times. No Yankees fan will ever forget his 3,000 hit when he smoked a ball into the left field stands. He earned the nickname Mr. November by hitting a game winning home run minutes after the clock struck midnight in game four of the 2001 World Series- the first time a major league baseball game was played in November.
The legend of Derek Jeter stretched beyond baseball. As handsome and charming as he was, he always seemed to find himself connected to some of the biggest names in Hollywood. He was a perfect fit for the New York lifestyle – part sports legend, part celebrity icon. He could do no wrong both on and off the field.