Ninety Nine Point Seven


Derek Jeter missed being a unanimous Hall of Famer by one vote. Does it matter? (Courtesy of Flickr)

Last week Derek Jeter, the legendary shortstop for the New York Yankees, was enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with a record-setting 99.7% of the voters. It was his first time on the ballot, and he entered with longtime Rockies player Larry Walker for the class of 2020.

Jeter was a five time World Series champion, a 14-time All Star, a Rookie of the Year, a World Series MVP, five-time Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award winner. He collected 3,465 hits, which is sixth on the all-time list. Why are people still upset about his induction?

It wasn’t unanimous.

A year after his longtime teammate Mariano Rivera was the first unanimous player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Jeter received 396 of 397 votes to get in. One person did not vote for him, but in the end, who cares?

This doesn’t matter. Why look at the negative paspect of an unbelievable 20-year career under the brightest lights in New York? Look at his accomplishments as a player, athlete and role model to millions since coming up in 1996. He was a first ballot Hall of Famer and has the record for most percentage of the votes for a position player.

People are trying to find the person who didn’t vote him in, trying to understand why they would not vote for someone like Derek Jeter. Why does it matter? He had his opinion as a baseball writer. That is what sports is about these days: opinions, arguments and debates. Don’t sit there and look at the 0.3% out of 100%. Take a look at the bigger picture, stop looking at the negative part and actually focus on what Jeter has done for the game of baseball.

Jeter was always a humble player. He never looked at his accomplishments and just looked forward. He was a competitor and champion who always wanted to win. He was still nervous on the day he got called into the Hall of Fame, even though he was sure to get in.

As an icon to the Yankees, a hero to children and a name that will live in infamy for the rest of eternity. Jeter did it right, the way an athlete is supposed to play the game they love. When he retired, he asked, “I always wondered why they thank me. For what? I’m just doing my job every day, you guys [the fans] made it easy.”
Part of me thinks Jeter didn’t want to be unanimous. I feel he wouldn’t care either way, just like the rest of us shouldn’t.

The number 2 means something different to baseball because of Jeter. People wear the number today because of him. Yes, his imduction wasn’t unanimous, but look what he did. Look what he gave to the world and how far he came, from a small town kid just wanting to play baseball to becoming a first ballot Hall of Famer.