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My Favorite Yankees Season (A Short Essay)

by Owen Hetherington

January 3, 2021

***

I grew up watching Derek Jeter. In fact, until I was 14 years old, he was the only Yankee I ever saw play shortstop.

Jeter has and forever will be my favorite Yankee of all-time.

There was something about Jeter that I couldn’t take my eye off him growing up. I think it was like that for most kids my age, at least the ones who were baseball fans. We grew up watching Jeter.

We knew we were witnessing greatness. We might have been to young to compare him to other greats, but that didn’t matter. Jeter was our great.

When Derek Jeter retired, it was like a part of me inside did too. Watching his last game was like going to a funeral. Excitement quickly turned to tears after his final at bat. The fact that it was over hit me hard.

This is why I consider 2014 my favorite Yankees season of all time.

It was a wild year. Quickly by the mid-point of the season, the hopes for a playoff push and a championship ring in the Captain’s final season went out the window. But for Yankees fans, we all knew that every at bat and ground ball hit to Jeter meant so much more than playing in October. We wanted to savor ever last hit, every final assist or putout.

I went to Yankee Stadium twice that season. Off the top of my head, I couldn’t tell you the dates or the final scores because none of that mattered at the time. It was just about watching Jeter and witnessing greatness before he stepped away from the game.

Before he left a void that will never be filled for so many fans.

That season specifically, has made my love for the Yankees grow and has made me the dedicated fan I am today.

Without Derek Jeter, and that 2014 season, I don’t know whether or not I’d have the same passion for the Yankees today.

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