Do What You Love

Derek Jeter offers a lesson in working hard at what you love and enjoying the ride!     

Posted in , Oct 2, 2014

Derek Jeter at bat

I live in New York, just an hour away from Yankee Stadium. Like most little boys, baseball was part of my life. I too had a dream of one day becoming a famous baseball player. In the end, God had a different plan for me and I’m OK with that. In fact, I feel so happy and blessed to be doing what I do.   

Baseball still has a place in my life; I enjoy watching the games and cheering on those who have fulfilled their baseball dreams. Once in a while, we encounter a special talent, a role model who has charisma that inspires. For baseball fans across the country that person has been Derek Jeter, captain of the New York Yankees. Jeter has embodied heart, character, humility, a strong work ethic and a winning spirit.

Derek Jeter at bat in his last game at Yankee StadiumLast week, during his last game played at Yankee Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles, I intently watched Jeter during his at bats. I was moved by his grace and humility.

Each time Jeter was up, I couldn’t help but think about how this young man arrived at this moment. How his drive, spirit, determination and the support of his family helped him realize his dream.

The passion and manner in which he played the game for 20 years inspired the legacy he leaves: “Respect.” 

As Yankee Stadium buzzed, you could see the stands filled with adoring fans. The game was tight. The bottom of the ninth inning with a runner in scoring position. Jeter came to the plate ready to play. He hit a single, winning the game. It was appropriate. It was Jeter.

And it reminded me that this is how he played from the moment he arrived in the big leagues. When interview at the end by a reporter about the fans who throughout the game cheered, “Thank You, Jeter:” he answered that all he was thinking was, “Thank you for what? I was just doing my job.”  

My friend Efrain Agosto, a diehard Yankee fan shared the following:

“What can you say? What a way to go out! It finally hit me last night why all the fuss about Jeter, including from yours truly: All we want from life (especially the older we get) is to do what we love, do it well for a long time, be surrounded by the people you love, and end well.

“We can't play ball like Jeter and certainly not make the money he made, but we each have things to offer that matter to the people we care about and we should work hard at it for as long as we can and enjoy the ride!”

The majority of us will never hear the cheers and applause of 50K fans, see our name on a jumbotron, or be on ESPN news, but we can take away a life lesson from the captain…we can be the best at what we do, when we do what we love.       

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