As you may have heard, Derek Jeter is retiring at the end of the season. “The Captain” and face of the Yankees’ franchise is in the middle of a long, awkward farewell tour, which stops at Target Field in Minnesota for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
Of course, fans elected the 40-year-old Jeter — and his .272 average and limited defensive range — as the starting shortstop for the American League. Naturally, AL manager John Farrell of the last-place Red Sox slotted Jeter as his lead-off hitter, hamstringing his league’s chances of winning the game (because he doesn’t care about home field advantage in a World Series his team won’t make).
Jeter has forever been baseball’s favorite son for “playing the game the right way” and possessing “intangibles.” In fairness, his 3,400-plus career hits, five World Series rings and trail of slain models have been impressive.
Before Jeter became the legend he is today, baseball scouts analyzed his high school skills in 1992. While the scouts saw plenty of potential in the future hall of famer, they managed to make some surprising observations.
Expos scout Stan Zielinski
• Got Some Hot Dog In Him
• Tendency To Coast, Be Too Cool
• OK Bat
Reds scout Gene Bennett (two reports):
• Going to study Medicine @ Michigan U.
• Feet not as quick as a Larkin or Reese.
• Maybe a chance to be a good centerfielder if not @ shortstop
Scout David Littlefield
• Hi Butt..Young Colt
• 10-15 SB’s, 255 w/4-8 HR’s
Expos scout Bob Oldis
• Believe He’ll Have To Play OF, Never Seen A Long Legged SS
• Body Stiff On Ground Balls
• No Patience At Plate, Wild Swinger
As you can see in the full reports below, Jeter’s star potential was clear, but the Yankees all-time hits leader exceeded high expectations and made some of the statements look damn foolish in retrospect.
We’ll be sure to tip our caps to the National League pitcher who offers Jeets up a meatball during the all-star game. Re2pect, indeed.