Derek Jeter had to wait an extra year to be officially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but his speech was so genuine that it was worth the wait.
During his speech on Wednesday afternoon, Jeter gave a shoutout to New York Yankees fans for pushing him to be the best version of himself.
“You helped me get here today as much as anyone I’ve mentioned,” Jeter said.. “You can’t be fooled. You demanded that I earned it. I wanted to prove to you I belonged and you kept pushing me over and over again. It’s been one of the greatest honors of my life.”
Even though Jeter kept a serious tone for the majority of his speech, he couldn't leave the podium without cracking a joke about being one vote shy of becoming the second unanimous selection of all time. He received 99.7 percent of possible votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
"Thank you to the baseball writers - all but one of you," Jeter jokingly said.
Jeter had an exceptional career in the MLB, winning the World Series five times and earning All-Star honors a whopping 14 times. What truly made Jeter such a special athlete for the Yankees was the fact that he never generated any negative headlines despite always being in the spotlight.
Love him or hate him, Jeter was always a class act.