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Derek Jeter, Larry Walker Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
Two of baseball’s best and brightest all-stars have achieved the dream that every baseball players aim for: to be inducted into the hall of fame.
Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame just recently. He played 20 seasons with a single team, the Yankees, where he won five World Series titles. He was also a vote away from being the second player to receive a unanimous decision. In case you’re wondering who’s the first, it’s the game’s greatest closer, Mariano Rivera, former teammate of Jeter.
Jeter was drafted sixth overall in the 1992 draft and made his debut in 1995. Upon retiring in 2014, he was a 14-time American League All-Star and finished sixth all-time with 3,645 career hits. In 2017, he became the 22nd Yankee to have his number retired. Rivera said that Jeter always had a deep desire to win. ‘That singular commitment to his team is what made him so special. Derek prided himself on being a consistent presence. No moment was too big. He was fearless, and he was the type of leader we knew we could count on year after year’, said Rivera.
Yankees senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman shared the same sentiment saying, ‘He played the game the right way, and his confidence was contagious. He provided countless memories for our fans, and it's clear how much he will always mean to them. Thanks to Derek, we reached the pinnacle of the baseball world five times, and he will forever be a defining player of his generation’.
Besides Jeter, Larry Walker will also be inducted into the hall of fame. He is the second Canadian-born player to be elected into the hall of fame. It was also a special day for him as it was his 10th year on the list of names to be chosen - his final year before being removed. His career spanned 17 seasons, playing for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals. He was a five-time all-star and seven-time Gold Glove recipient.
‘Larry blessed our region for parts of 10 seasons and we feel extremely fortunate to be a part of his incredible career’, said Dick Monfort, Rockies owner, Chairman and CEO. He was also the first Rockies player elected into the hall of fame. Bill DeWitt Jr., Cardinals chairman, said that Walker was key to their first trip back to the World Series in 2004 - after missing it for 17 straight years. Despite falling to the Boston Red Sox, it was a moment none of them will forget.
Included in the list of names are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, two players who are accused of using performance-enhancing drugs. Both deny that they used those kinds of drugs to aid them in hitting massive home runs or being able to stay alert on the field. Nonetheless, neither Bonds nor Clemens received 75% of the votes, the number necessary to be elected into the hall of fame. There were 30 other candidates who could have been named into the elite hall-of-fame club, but it was Jeter and Walker who would be elected. They played the game in a fashion that was present in the old days of baseball. They trained as hard as they would play, and they knew that to achieve greatness, there is no shortcut.
Words: Carlos Corpus