Farewell Captain

Here I am watching a Yankee baseball game.  Not a fan at all. No real reason to watch, but this is no regular game. A fan in the stands holds a sign that states so well why I am watching this game  … “Farewell Captain”.

Tonight is Derek Jeter’s last home game and he retires this year after a Hall of Fame career in Major League Baseball here in the United States. Certainly a great baseball player, but we respect him for more. Few can match his work ethic and team leadership. I am a fan, and this is history watching him play tonight.

I read today the comments from his teammates past and present and the message is the same. Derek Jeter is a leader. The designation of  “Captain” is nearly gone in modern baseball. Derek Jeter is one of only three in the league and one can not imagine anyone replacing him. He will be always “The Captain” for the Yankees.

Other observations on Derek Jeter from those who know him best:

  • Maximum Effort – 162 regular season games each season  and he runs out every ground ball throughout.
  • No Excuses – Never an excuse for a bad game. Just a commitment to work harder tomorrow.
  • Confidence – Nothing wrong with confidence. Leaders are confident people. Derek knew the line between confidence and arrogance.
  • Quiet Leadership – Derek does not speak with a loud voice. No speeches to motivate. Instead, Derek speaks to his teammates one on one. Full focus on what he knows a teammate needs to hear.
  • Joy – Bring joy everyday to your work.

As I write this I return to the game on TV. It is the 7th Inning and the bases are loaded. Indeed Derek Jeter comes up to hit.  Wow, just imagine … a grand slam and the world stops spinning. Alas, no. Instead, Derek hits a weak grounder to shortstop who throws the ball away into the outfield. Two runs score and well, a quiet sort of magic. I am confident that Derek Jeter is fine with that result. Put the ball in play and run hard to first base. Team first. Always.

I continue to watch the game. The opponent comes back and scores three runs to tie the game in the top of the ninth.  All part of the script. Derek Jeter comes up in the bottom of the ninth with a runner is scoring position. No home run needed, just a simple base hit to win the game. Yes, he gets that hit and wins the game. Simply amazing.

Derek Jeter is one hell of a ball player. Do not forget, he is also one hell of a person and leader.

Here is the best baseball play I ever watched. The vision, anticipation, creativity, and execution is amazing. The best leaders are artists and, this is art.

Farewell Captain.

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