Michael Jordan is publicly showing his respect for Derek Jeter's career on the weekend the shortstop gets his number two retired by the New York Yankees.
He won five Gold Gloves for defensive excellence at one of the game's crucial fielding positions, and five Silver Slugger awards for being the best offensive player at the position. It is interesting, though, that the last one put him past Babe Ruth, the player who first made the Yankees the Yankees.
There is no attempt here to make Jeter into more than he was because the Yankees will retire his No. 2 on Sunday. The Red Sox had a series to play against the Yankee after that, in NY.
During Jeter's remarks - which he later said were off the cuff - he emphasized how thankful he was.
The Yankees and the Astros both wore pink-billed caps in honor of the holiday, and Jeter said that he chose this day to receive the honor to highlight his mother's and family's contribution to his success.More news: Lewis Hamilton top in Spanish Grand Prix practice with upgraded Mercedes
More news: Sheriff: Gunman kills police chief, 2 nursing home workers in Ohio
More news: Chelsea has one hand on Premier League trophy after latest win
The timing of Jeter's ceremony seems aligned by the heavens: It marks the end of a generation of players which brought the Yankees many trips to the playoffs and five championships, and the beginning of a new generation in Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Greg Bird, among others.
The big seventh inning would seal the deal for NY. That includes No. 8 retired to honor two different Hall of Fame Yankees catchers - Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. The No. 0 is available, but the Yankees have never issued it, though manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman said they are not opposed to doing so. Jeter was one of the best, right to his final words. For some reason and as much as I wanted to, I just couldn't hate Derek Jeter. He went with the Yankees to Fenway Park and got two more hits there. Now he was done. Jeter was always more than the sum of his parts, a collection of talent, desire, fortitude and skill that elevated him beyond whatever physical gifts he had, a combination of El Capitan leadership skills and Mr. November clutch abilities that left others trailing in his wake. OK, they played 2 because of a Saturday rainout, but it wouldn't shock me if someone, somewhere argued that it was Mother Nature's way of showing RE2PECT for the Captain. Give me the Yankees.
There will likely be another Yankee captain someday. Add their 22-year old shortstop, Carlos Correa who is off to another good start and the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year. Jeter, the 1996 American League Rookie of the Year, was named the MVP of the 2000 All-Star Game and MVP of the 2000 World Series between the Yankees and New York Mets, known as the Subway Series.
No. 2 didn't have any significance to Jeter when he arrived in the big leagues. There will be Yankees who matter mightily on the north side of 161st.
Then, of course, there are the playoffs, where Jeter shined more than nearly anyone.