Coffey: Consistency, winning – and a special fan – partial of Derek Jeter’s legacy

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Derek Jeter invites Brielle Saracini (c.) and sister to Yankee Stadium in 2001 after a lamentation 10-year-old writes a minute to a Yankee star after her commander father was one of a initial victims on 9/11. Derek Jeter invites Brielle Saracini (c.) and sister to Yankee Stadium in 2001 after a lamentation 10-year-old writes a minute to a Yankee star after her commander father was one of a initial victims on 9/11.

More than usually about anything in life, Brielle Saracini wanted to be during Derek Jeter Day. After all that he has finished — unequivocally sensitively — for her and her family over these final 13 years, how could she skip his day?

As shortly as a date was confirmed, Saracini went on line and bought dual tickets. She was going to go with her tighten friend, Louis Verdi, creation a outing adult from her home in Yardley, Pa. It was going to be one some-more proceed to conclude Derek Jeter, to applaud a integrity that Brielle Saracini can conclude in a proceed that roughly nobody else can.

“I’m one of a propitious few to have a special tie with him,” Saracini, 23, says. “He’s so many some-more than a turn actor to me. He’s a mentor. He’s someone we demeanour adult to, given of a proceed he treats people.” She pauses for a moment.

“He is someone who has helped me by a lot of dim times.” Says Jeter, “(Brielle) has been tested countless times and lived by utterly a bit. She’s a unequivocally clever person.”

With 21 days and 21 regular-season games remaining, a epic, 20-year career of Derek Sanderson Jeter will be distinguished during Yankee Stadium Sunday, a many famous turn authorization of them all saluting a towering achievements of a male who has spent half of his 40 years wearing No. 2, creation it as storied as any other Yankee single-digit number.

Amid all a tributes and tears that will no doubt symbol a occasion, we can be as certain as trade jams on a Deegan that there will be a big-screen retrospective of a decisive turn moments of Derek Jeter, culled from a 2,733 regular-season games he has played, or a 158 postseason games, opposite 33 series, that he has been a partial of.

You will see a legendary flip play that kept a Yankees alive in Game 3 of a 2001 ALDS opposite a Oakland A’s, Jeremy (Don’t Slide) Giambi logging home, Jeter somehow expecting an overpower and retrieving a turn by a initial bottom line before shoveling it backhand to Jorge Posada.

You will see his dive into a stands to take an out opposite a A’s Terrence Long dual games after during a Stadium, and an even some-more famous dive, fundamentally full speed, that resulted in a smashed face, a hire acclaim and an out opposite a Red Sox on Jul 1, 2004.

From a early years, we will substantially see 21-year-old Jeter attack his initial career home run, on Opening Day, 1996, a blast off a Indians’ Dennis Martinez, Jeter rounding a bases as if he’d finished this many times before, conduct down, not a singular check-me-out escapade in sight, and we will unequivocally see his 237th home run, that came 15 years later, off of David Price. It also happened to be his 3,000th career hit, partial of a 5-for-5 afternoon opposite a Tampa Bay Rays 3 summers ago.

Derek Jeter has been partial of countless good Yankee moments, including his game-winning blast in 2001 World Series, earning him a nickname Mr. November.ROBERTO BOREA/ASSOCIATED PRESS Derek Jeter has been partial of countless good Yankee moments, including his game-winning blast in 2001 World Series, earning him a nickname Mr. November.

And yet a doubt a reverence will embody a midnight home run Jeter strike in a 10th inning of Game 4 of a 2001 World Series opposite a Diamondbacks, a windup of a nine-pitch during bat opposite Byung-Hyun Kim, a heading opposite-field shot that tied a Series during 2-2, and gave Derek Jeter a new nickname: Mr. November.

All of these highlights, and more, will expected be rolled out, and since not? They consecrate a hint of a smart, clutch, selfless, team-first persona that is during a core of who Jeter a ballplayer is. And yet, if we ask Rob Gilbert, zero of a clips truly pronounce to a reason that Jeter has turn a iconic figure he has become. That reason, says Gilbert, a sports clergyman and highbrow during Montclair State University, is his utter, and unparalleled, consistency, on a margin and off of it.

“From an altogether perspective, Derek Jeter has finished something no turn actor has ever done,” Gilbert says. “He competence have finished some errors on a field, yet he has never finished any errors off a field. With all a amicable media these days, all a paparazzi, everybody examination him, he never screwed adult once. We might not see another like him.”

Gilbert likens Jeter to a “most successful authorization this nation has ever known” — McDonald’s.

“I’m not articulate about food value,” Gilbert says. “I’m articulate about this same peculiarity — consistency. You can go to any McDonald’s in a nation and a hamburgers ambience a same and a French fries ambience a same. There are never any surprises. And that is how it is with Derek Jeter. Never any surprises, from a initial examination in open training to a final out of a World Series.”

To Gilbert, ours is a enlightenment that is built on a Instagram indication of celebrity, jaunty wiring designed to maximize SportsCenter coverage, hiss vastly outdistancing substance, as succinct by a Johnny Manziels and Yasiel Puigs of a world.

Derek Jeter has dismissed adult Yankee fans and a team’s past heroes with his unmatched concentration on winning, paving proceed for Captain, with his 5 World Series rings ...Munson, John/SL Derek Jeter has dismissed adult Yankee fans and a team’s past heroes with his unmatched concentration on winning, paving proceed for Captain, with his 5 World Series rings …

Derek Jeter is your father’s superstar. He is Yogi Berra’s superstar, a male whose M.O. is understatement — a male who doesn’t wish to trend.

Only win.

... to take his place alongside pinstriped legends like Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford. … to take his place alongside pinstriped legends like Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.

You consider it was by possibility that whenever Berra would revisit a Stadium, one of his initial stops would be Derek Jeter’s locker? There would be a handshake, or a hug, some cooperative chaff about rings, Yogi tweaking Jeter about his 10, and 5 in a row. When a Yankees fell brief opposite Arizona in Game 7 in 2001 and had their strain stopped during three, Yogi told Jeter, “You have to start over now.”

There isn’t a Yankee that a 89-year-old Yogi Berra respects some-more than Derek Jeter.

“He’s always been a good kid,” Berra says. “He plays a diversion right. He’s had a good career and he is a good Yankee.”

Brielle Saracini, who has no World Series rings, could frequency determine more. She has her possess reasons for revering Derek Jeter.

They snippet to Sept. 11, 2001.


One week into fifth category in Quarry Hill Elementary School in Yardley, on a second Tuesday of Sep 2001, 10-year-old Brielle Saracini was in Ms. Tiso’s category when United Flight 175, firm from Boston to Los Angeles, took off from Logan Airport, a bit behind schedule, during 8:14 a.m.

On residence were 51 passengers, 9 organisation members and 5 terrorists. Armed with knives and mace, a terrorists would charge a cockpit, gash organisation members and steal a Boeing 767, United Flight 175 terminating during 9:03 a.m., during a South Tower of a World Trade Center.

One of a initial reliable fatalities was a pilot. His name was Victor Saracini. He was Brielle Saracini’s father, and her sister Kirsten’s father, and mom Ellen Saracini’s husband.

Victor J. SaraciniAP Victor J. Saracini

And so began a misfortune time a Saracini family will ever know, a fuzz of pain and grief that mostly left them wondering if they could presumably make it by a subsequent few seconds. Ellen Saracini attempted tough to strengthen her daughters from any some-more anguish than they were already going through, and one order she was motionless on was: no television. The usually difference was turn games. Brielle, generally had turn a outrageous fan of a Yankees, and their 27-year-old shortstop. It started when Brielle review a book called “The Life You Imagine” that Jeter wrote with co-author Jack Curry, afterwards with The New York Times, now with a YES Network. Brielle desired a honour and friendship Jeter showed towards his relatives in a book, and a fortify and tough work and piety he wrote about.

“I usually became preoccupied with him, and we became spooky with baseball, generally Yankee baseball,” Brielle Saracini says. When she went behind to Quarry Hill for propagandize on Sept. 12 — it was improved than sitting during home — Brielle wore her Yankee hat. School authorities motionless to relinquish their no-hat order for her, deliberation a circumstances. Brielle wore a shawl everywhere.

“I felt godlike when we had it on,” Brielle Saracini says.

Not prolonged after Sept. 11, Brielle went adult to her room one day and wrote a letter. She came down and asked her mother, “Do we know a residence for Derek Jeter?”

Ellen Saracini asked her daughter why, and she pronounced she’d created a note to him that she wanted to mail.

“I had no trust of her doing it. It was usually something she felt unequivocally strongly about doing,” Ellen says.

Says Brielle, “It usually finished clarity during a time. You are 10 years old, and we treasure a person. You are experiencing (an agonizing loss). we thought, ‘What’s a one thing that could make me feel better?’ ” Brielle motionless that some-more than anything she would like to accommodate Derek Jeter. Not usually did that make her happy to consider about, it was something her father would’ve loved.

He was always articulate to a girls about going after their dreams and not vouchsafing anything stop them.

The minute began:

“Dear Derek Jeter,

My name is Brielle Saracini. As we have heard, there was a terrible collision that concerned a Twin Towers, there was a hijacking on a plane. Terrible people are in this world, yet we and we both know that. . . That terrible hijacking happened to my father. My father was a pilot, Captain Victor J. Saracini.”

The minute finished a proceed to a Philadelphia TV hire and afterwards to a Yankees. Jason Zillo, an partner in a open family dialect then, took it from there, deliberating it with Jeter, hatching plans. Soon a phone rang in a Saracini home. Derek Jeter was on a line.

“I don’t consider we could even talk,” Brielle says. When she got off she ran around a house, singing and screaming.

“I couldn’t trust what had usually happened,” she says.

Jeter voiced his low condolences and invited Ellen and her daughters to a diversion — Sept. 26, opposite Tampa Bay. It was a Wednesday, 15 days after a terrible people had had their way. They got to a diversion hours early. Brielle had her Yankee shawl on, of course. Zillo met them and took them right down to a field. Jeter came over and introduced himself and gave them any a hug.

“Hi Mr. Jeter,” Brielle said. Other than that she could not speak.

“Brielle, call me Derek. Mr. Jeter creates me sound like my father,” he said.

Ellen showed Jeter a scrapbook Brielle had finished about him, full of photos and stories and contribution about his career, and Brielle’s fabrication of his signature.

“Brielle, we pointer my name improved than we do,” Jeter said.

Joe Torre came over, and so did Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius, and others. Everybody was so kind, a day so perfect. Later they went upstairs and Brielle got to accommodate Jack Curry, who would turn a tighten family friend. The Saracinis sat right by a Yankee dugout. Jeter batted third that night for one of a few times all season. When he came to a on-deck turn to lead off a bottom of a eighth, he called a girls over to a railing. People wondered who these girls were, and since Derek Jeter was pursuit for them.

He handed any lady a black Rawlings Derek Jeter glove. Once some-more Brielle could not speak. Jeter roped a double down a left margin line. Mariano Rivera came on and sealed out a 3-1 Yankee victory.

“It was a initial day we saw my girls happy and smiling given their Daddy died,” Ellen Saracini says.


Benji Gil has his possess singular tie to Derek Jeter, not given of tragedy, yet a common journey. Gil, too, was a rarely touted shortstop and a first-round breeze choice, not out of Kalamazoo, Mich., yet Chula Vista, Calif., by proceed of his local Mexico. Gil was taken by a Texas Rangers in 1991, a year before a Yankees comparison Jeter sixth overall. He initial met Jeter during second bottom during a single-A ballfield in North Carolina, Gil personification for Gastonia, Jeter for Greensboro in a South Atlantic League. It was late in a 1992 season, and Gil saw Jeter in a proceed few people ever do: in a state of dejection that bordered on full-blown despair.

“I could see where he was kind of wanting to go home,” Gil says.

Derek Jeter has always 'been a good kid' says associate Yankee fable Yogi Berra.GARY STEWART/AP Derek Jeter has always ‘been a good kid’ says associate Yankee fable Yogi Berra.

At 18 years old, as spare as a cornstalk, Jeter had his $800,000 signing bonus, along with low doubts about either he’d finished a mistake by signing with a Yankees out of Kalamazoo Central, instead of usurpation a grant to play for former Tigers good Bill Freehan during a University of Michigan.

In his initial doubleheader in rookie turn that year, with a Gulf Coast Yankees, Jeter went 0-for-7, struck out 5 times and committed an error. He felt totally overmatched, pursuit home each night, mostly in tears, revelation his relatives he didn’t know if he could do this. Only a swell late in a year enabled Jeter to get his normal above .200 (all a proceed to .202). The Yankees wanted him to keep playing, so when his rookie-ball deteriorate finished they sent him to Greensboro, where he had his possibility assembly with Gil, who asked him how it was going.

“Not good,” Jeter said. “I’m unequivocally struggling.”

Gil was taken aback by Jeter’s candor, and offering a tip that Gil’s comparison hermit had taught him. Because we play each day, baseball, above all else, is a mental grind, a competition that final that we find strength and nourishment wherever we can.

“No matter how things are going, take something certain out of a day,” Gil told him. “If we go 0-for-4 yet play good defense, that’s a positive. If we run a bases well, that’s a positive. If we make a integrate of errors yet strike a double in a gap, that’s a positive.”

Two things Yankee fans have been used to observant during Jeter's career: His tighten family (with father, Charles, mother, Dot, and sister, Sharlee) ...Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images Two things Yankee fans have been used to observant during Jeter’s career: His tighten family (with father, Charles, mother, Dot, and sister, Sharlee) …

Jeter’s relatives and a Yankees had been creation a same point, yet conference it from his associate shortstop and No. 1 collect somehow finished it ring more. Gil could tell how earnestly Jeter was listening, could tell how many he wanted to be good.

“There are certain guys, usually with a proceed they move, a proceed they lift themselves, we can tell there is something there, even when they’re not doing great,” Gil said. “That’s how it was with Derek. You could see a talent was there. You knew it was going to happen.”

Jeter’s Greensboro teammate, Mariano Rivera, knew it, too. The subsequent year in Greensboro, Jeter’s normal jumped to .295, with 11 triples and 18 stolen bases, yet his defensive play — he finished 56 errors — was abysmal.

... and a jump-throw from brief right field.RAY STUBBLEBINE/REUTERS … and a jump-throw from brief right field.

The Yankees player-development people in Tampa had ongoing debates about relocating Jeter to core field, a proceed a Yankees had finished with another error-prone prodigy, Mickey Mantle, 40 years earlier. Rivera could’ve told them right then: leave him alone. He will figure it out and he will be great. For 35 true days in a offseason, Jeter went by defensive foot camp, battered with belligerent balls off a bat of taskmaster/coach Brian Butterfield.

“Derek had some-more concentration and expostulate than anybody. we never had a doubt (about him),” Rivera says.


Brielle Saracini grew up, had her braces finished in Yankee colors and always kept her Derek Jeter glove nearby. She stayed in hold with her favorite player. When he was in Trenton (not distant from a Saracini’s home) for a rehab stint, he had her on a field, greeted her with a cuddle and a kiss, saying, “How’s my girl, Bri?”

At initial she was a small astounded that he remembered her, that with all a fans he meets and all a people clamoring for his attention, he would find her out. It finished her feel great.

“He’s such a genuine person,” she says. “You never get a feeling he’s doing it given he has to do it, or that he’s going by a motions. You get a feeling that he wants to do it.”

Derek Jeter is 'so many some-more than a turn actor to me' says Brielle Saracini. Derek Jeter is ‘so many some-more than a turn actor to me’ says Brielle Saracini.

Brielle Saracini went off to Boston College, got her grade and landed a job, maybe not surprisingly, during a YES Network. It was all good until a summer of 2013. Brielle Saracini went to a alloy and had some tests done. The formula came back. She was diagnosed with Hodgkins’ lymphoma. The date was Aug. 5. She started with chemotherapy roughly immediately. It finished her unhappy that Derek Jeter was carrying his possess earthy problems, his deteriorate singular to 17 games as he attempted to come behind from ankle surgery. She wanted so many to see him out there playing. The deteriorate wound down. On a Thursday afternoon late in a year, she was examination a Yankees home game. Her phone was in a subsequent room. When she checked it after there was a voicemail from someone who had called during a game.

The summary was from Derek Jeter.

The date was Sept. 26, a same afternoon Jeter and Andy Pettitte went out to a pile to take a turn from Mariano Rivera to tighten out his career. It was also a 12-year anniversary of a day Brielle, Kirsten and Ellen Saracini had visited a Stadium after United Flight 175 was hijacked. Even a competition — Tampa Bay — was a same.

“I usually wanted to call and say, keep your conduct up, stay certain and all will work out usually great,” Jeter pronounced in a message.

Jeter has had a profoundly personal knowledge with Hodgkins’, his sister, Sharlee, fighting her possess conflict with it 13 years earlier, during her comparison year during Spellman College in Atlanta. Sharlee Jeter, a math major, was study in her dorm room one night during a Yankee game, her friends teasing her that her hermit was going to strike out.

Instead, he strike a home run, and when she got adult to do a small cooperative gloating, she got tangled in her books and tumbled onto a floor. She suspicion zero of it, until after that night when she felt a pile in her neck.

“Maybe it was from a fall,” she told herself.

The pile didn’t go away. She went to a doctor. When she found out she had to go in for a biopsy, a turn deteriorate was over and Derek was on vacation in Puerto Rico. He came behind early to go with his sister for a testing.

“He’s always been my hermit first,” says Sharlee Jeter, who is a executive executive of her brother’s Turn 2 Foundation, a gift he started in his rookie year to foster preparation and assistance kids make healthy decisions. “He’s a good person, and he cares about being a good person.”

Brielle Saracini went by a march of 12 chemotherapy treatments, completing them in Jan of this year. A indicate pronounced that she was cancer-free. A second indicate was not so heartening. In May, she found out a Hodgkins’ had come back. She started another turn of even some-more assertive chemotherapy. It was not an easy time. On Tuesday night, Jul 1, she finished it to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were personification Tampa Bay, naturally. Brielle Saracini met Derek Jeter in a hovel nearby a cave before a game. He gave her a common cuddle and kiss.

“Are we prepared for retirement? What are we going to do?” Brielle asked him.

“Absolutely nothing,” Jeter replied, smiling, even yet they both knew that wasn’t a truth.

They talked some more. Brielle told him how many she appreciated his kindness. Jeter pronounced it was nothing, that he was happy they got to accommodate and stay friends. They talked about her Hodgkins’, and how it had returned. Jeter says we never utterly know what to contend someone in such a situation, so we usually try to be yourself, be affirming.

He looked true during her.

“You’ve got to stay positive,” he said. “You shouldn’t worry about statistics or what anybody says. You are going to kick this. Everything is going to be great.”

They hugged again, and Derek Jeter went off to play a 2,674th diversion of his career.

“That’s my latest impulse for pulling by cancer — a cuddle from Derek Jeter,” Saracini says. She pauses and laughs.

“Not a lot of people get that.”

Brielle Saracini spent many of Aug in a hospital, removing dual blood transfusions, and afterwards a stem-cell transplant, a wish being that it will assistance her quarrel a Hodgkins’ off. As many as she wants to be during Derek Jeter Day, she knows she is too weak.

The Yankee shortstop will understand.

“Any time someone is faced with adversity and they proceed it a proceed that she has, in a certain way, that’s inspiring,” Jeter says. “When you’re in a conditions like that, a lot of times people take a ‘Why me?’ proceed and feel contemptible for themselves. She didn’t have that.”

He talked again about Brielle’s strength of character, her integrity to make a best of things, no matter that this is a universe with terrible people and terrible diseases.

If she keeps removing stronger, Brielle Saracini’s dream is to make it to Fenway Park, a place where, exclusive a Yankee postseason run, a storied career of Derek Sanderson Jeter will end.

What could be improved than observant Derek Jeter play turn one some-more time? To applaud his goodness, and his consistency? Nobody needs to remind Brielle Saracini that Fenway is usually a few miles from Logan Airport, where her father finished his final takeoff during 8:14 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, carrying no thought of a immorality that had boarded United Flight 175.

No reminders are required during all.

That will be there always, yet so will her Yankee hat, her Derek Jeter glove, her insistence on doing what Derek Jeter would do, and has prolonged done, seeking light instead of dark.

“I don’t know how we can ever conclude him for all things he has finished for me over a years,” Brielle Saracini says.

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