Derek Jeter was simply Derek Jeter on his special day — smooth as silk.
On a Wednesday afternoon that turned cloudy with the temperature in the 70s and a few sprinkles in the air and adoring fans chanting his name, the former New York Yankees star shortstop and captain was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after a long wait necessitated by the pandemic.
Greeted by cheers in a crowd estimated at 20,000 that included NBA luminaries Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing, several of his former teammates, and Hall of Fame Yankees manager Joe Torre on the stage behind him, Jeter took his turn after fellow inductees from the class of 2020 Ted Simmons, Larry Walker and the late Marvin Miller were honored.
“I’m so honored to be inducted with you guys and linked to you forever,” he said. “The Hall of Fame is special because of those who are in it.”
Jeter then thanked the fans, who always marveled at his consistency.
“I had one goal in my career, and that was to win more than everyone else, and we did that, which brings me to the Yankee fans,” Jeter said as the fans erupted again.
“Without question, you helped me get here today as much as any individual I’ve mentioned.”