It’s best not to look too closely at the way Derek Jeter and his New York Yankees are limping home this September, his 20th and final season in pinstripes. Better to focus on the glory days—the World Series titles, the clutch playoff home runs*, and the general sense of class he brought to the game for two decades. He’s earned his place in the pantheon of Yankee greats, from Ruth to Gehrig to DiMaggio to Mantle to Reggie.
In a new Gatorade commercial set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” Jeter takes a game-day stroll to Yankee Stadium, surprising fans who treat him like an immortal. Yet I have enough faith in the Bronx’s what-have-you-done-for-me-lately denizens that I’d bet at least one passerby yelled, “Can I borrow that wet newspaper when you’re finished hitting .249 with it!?” and had to be edited out.
To be fair to Jeter, who’s still a lifetime .309 hitter, even Sinatra sometimes forgot the lyrics as he approached the final curtain.
(*As a fair-weather Baltimore Orioles fan, I’m taking great pleasure in the O’s stomping the Yanks this year in the standings. It almost makes up for Jeffrey Maier. Almost.)