The winter weather did not stop the massive crowd of devoted fans from packing the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House at Hamilton College to see one of the greatest players to ever wear pinstripes, Derek Jeter, speak about his life and his legendary career. Jeter covered a variety of topics from Ferguson to family. One thing is for sure, his reputation for being a class act was affirmed in front of thousands. The Captain had a busy day meeting with students and student athletes, holding a press conference, and participating in an interview moderated by former MLB All-Star and Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Harold Reynolds. This whole day of events was to benefit his "Turn 2" foundation.

The Family Man

One of the most important things in Derek Jeter's world is his family. He has included his family in every aspect of his career since the day he entered Major League Baseball. He spoke of the influence his parents had on him, and how they encouraged him not only to excel in athletics, but most importantly in school. If he wasn't making straight As, he was not able to play. Education meant a lot in the Jeter household growing up. Both of his parents were college graduates and his father even has a Ph.D. In fact, part of his contract, as Jeter described, when he first signed with the Yankees was that if he ever wanted to return to college that the Yankees would pay for it. He did go and take a class at the University of Michigan his first year, but baseball ended up leading him on the path to success.

Andrew Derminio
Andrew Derminio

The Turn 2 Foundation

One of Jeter's biggest influences growing up was Dave Winfield. It wasn't just because he was the only athlete to be drafted in all three major sports (baseball, basketball, and football), but because he was the first professional athlete to start a foundation. It was in a hotel room with his father over a pizza that the idea behind "Turn 2" was born. The mission of "Turn 2" is "to create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and "TURN 2" healthy lifestyles." One of the aspects of "Turn 2" Jeter takes great pride in is the fact that it is run primarily by his family.

Jeter and The Media

Besides being the classiest athlete to ever play a professional sport, the long time Yankees captain has a reputation for having always kept a low profile. Jeter has always valued the boundary between his professional life and his personal life. In order to avoid getting himself into trouble, he talked about two simple phrases he used well and used often.

What's it like being a "Sex Symbol?

Those phrases were "No Comment" and "I Don't Know." Jeter went on to say that he is good at knowing what he doesn't know, meaning he always surrounds himself with people who know what they're doing and who he trusts. During the course of his long career there were very few times Jeter ended up in the tabloids. Even when moderator Harold Reynolds asked him "What's it like being a "Sex Symbol?" Jeter's reply was simple, "I don't know."

The Final Home Game and What's Next

To hear Derek Jeter describe in detail the account of that final home game at Yankee Stadium was pure magic. For a man who says he prided himself on having complete focus and control over his emotions during every game, he was quick to admit that he was going through a wide range of emotions that day. He talked about how he gave signals to other

I couldn't think of a better way to end my final game at Yankee Stadium.

players when there was no runner on base, he talked about forgetting equipment before going to bat, and he also admitted thinking to himself "don't hit to me," for the fear of screwing up. Ultimately, as most people remember he hit the game winning run and he says, "I couldn't think of a better way to end my final game at Yankee Stadium." So what's next for the future Hall of Famer?  Derek has a number of ambitions including one day owning his own Major League Baseball team. One of his passions is in publishing both in print and online. His latest endeavour is an online publication called "The Players Tribune." This website contains articles written by athletes from all sports. These are unedited and unbiased stories. Jeter expressed his strong opinions about technology today and how things can be misconstrued. "The Players Tribune" allows athletes to speak their minds freely on any number of issues.

For those who made it to the college through the blustering snow and freezing cold experienced a real treat. To hear about the life, career, and ambitions of a legend first hand is something I will never forget and Hamilton College was lucky to add such an incredible person to their impressive list of Great Names in The Sacerdote Great Names Series.

Full Derek Jeter Press Conference

Photos From The Derek Jeter Event




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