Sunday, September 28, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
Twenty years ago I was 3 years old. I was just learning about the great game of baseball and all the nostalgia that comes with it. My father was a Mets fan so naturally he rose – or tried to – raise his kids to be Mets fans. For a little while since I didn’t know too much I donned Mets gear. Then as I got to know the game better I learned about the other New York team. I liked what this team in pinstripes was all about. They were bad for the first couple of years I started liking them but then a kid named Derek Jeter came up to play and a guy from Brooklyn came to manage. Jeter looked like a hard-nosed baseball player who knew how to play the game the right way.
I became a fan instantly of not just a team on the verge of starting something special but of a guy who I would eventually grow up with around the game of baseball. It’s unfortunate a kid like me grew up during what would now be known as the steroid era of baseball but there were a select few that were natural ballplayers and Jeter for me was one of them. The guy could hit, he wasn’t too bad in the field and he created the jump that so many kids like I tried to mimic during little league games. Every team that I played on, little league to high school baseball my number was always 2 (with the exception of one year in which I used 91, my birth year). I became one of those kids who looked at Jeter as a role model in my baseball playing career.
Derek Jeter created memory after memory for me. Even during the intense times of rivalry and the circus of home run chases with other guys in the league. The one thing about Jeter was he always put his team first before himself which some guys in the league never did. All they cared about was personal stats. I can say as a Yankee fan like many others we were spoiled with the taste of winning. I can understand the fans of other teams showing their signs of hate towards that. There are many debates and arguments that go around the notion that the championships the Yankees won were bought but you can quickly respond to that by saying if you want to build a winning team you need to spend. The Yankees spent. In all of that spending no matter how much was thrown to big time free agents, Jeter played his game and earned every penny he got when he himself needed to get paid and rightfully so.
I was sitting in my car waiting for someone to get out of the doctor’s office when my phone went off with the alert that Derek Jeter was announcing his retirement from baseball at the end of the season. For a brief minute I didn’t believe it because this was a guy who could play past forty. I clicked on the alert and it directed me to Derek Jeter’s Facebook post letter detailing his plans. That’s when it started sinking in hard for me. At that same moment I can see someone saying to me just as Sonny told Calogero that Mickey Mantle doesn’t pay his rent (A Bronx Tale) but I wouldn’t care because even Jeter who at the end of the day got his paycheck he was still an idol to me. The news hit me hard just as it did to other’s who grew up watching Derek Jeter. There was the fair share of critics who wondered why people like us put Jeter on this high holy pedestal, Jeter didn’t heed towards his critics and neither did we because we knew Jeter was something special about the game.
This 2014 season came and went pretty fast and you don’t want it to end because you want just a little more of Jeter. His farewell tour, while bothered by some was a symbol from baseball acknowledging someone who meant so much to the game on and off the field. He may not be the all-time greatest hits leader but he ranks among the top ten and that’s something that will never be taken away. September 25, 2014 was a night to truly remember because for one final time, Derek Jeter took the field at Yankee Stadium and left it all on the field. Just as the moments through his career were able to find him, it wasn’t any different that night as number 2 came to the plate with a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth and did so with his classic Jetarian smack of the ball to the right side.
It truly was a storybook ending for Jeter to go out on his final home game of the season. Friends and family in attendance, celebrities who made their way out to see an icon go out in fashion. What made it even special is his former teammates including members of the “Core Four” were there standing on the field watching their teammate and their friend say goodbye one final time. His first manager, Buck Showalter to his father figure manager Joe Torre to his last manager, Joe Girardi it was something you could never dream of if you were Derek Jeter. It may be a day of triumph and sadness but for us the fans it something we will remember for a lifetime. For older fans of the game who were able to see great ballplayers come and go it was just another player but for us who grew up with Derek he will be the player that is all I ever known that stood at shortstop for the New York Yankees.
With RE2PECT and gratitude,
Thank You Derek
- Joe Soccoa
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Friday, September 5, 2014
After opening the season against Columbia, which won 21 games and advanced to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament quarterfinals, the #Seawolves will begin their participation in the NIT Season Tip-Off with a Nov. 18 matchup at Georgia of the SEC. The Bulldogs were a 20-win team a year ago and picked up a win in the NIT first round.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Tropeano's 2011 season also ranks as one of the most decorated in conference and school history as he went 12-1 with a 1.84 ERA, setting America East single-season records in wins and strikeouts (119). He ranked seventh in the nation in wins and fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (11.52), going on to earn All-America honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper