As every single baseball fan and many other people in the United States know, Derek Jeter will be retiring from Major League Baseball after this year. I have witnessed Jeter capture New York City and the world’s attention through his countless clutch hits, memorable plays, and classy actions. Although, I am a rival New York Mets fan, I cannot deny the amount of impact Jeter has had throughout his playing days, and as a fan of baseball as a whole, I am sad to see the end of his era. Ex-commissioner of baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti wrote Take Time For Paradise, and it could not be more relevant at a time like this for Jeter. After playing baseball in the Major Leagues for twenty years, racking up over 3000 hits, and winning five World Series championships, Jeter for the first time in his life will not be prepping for spring training by doing off-season workouts, or working overtime playing in the postseason. He will be relaxing somewhere on a beach, enjoying life, and realizing his life without baseball.
Although all of these things sound great as his lifetime of vacation and retirement starts, it may not be as great as it all sounds. As Giamatti explains, when people are not working or doing something productive, just surviving can be as a hard as working. Instead of having to have his days filled with flights all over the United States, practices in the mornings, games stretching into the wee hours of the night, Jeter will be idle for the first time in his life. The holiday and break will be fun at the beginning, but as Giamatti also expresses, if every day is recess, then it becomes less and less fun. Many athletes can attest to the fact that when they are out on the diamond, field, or pitch, they feel free, alive, and at their best. No more will Jeter be able to defy the laws of physics or concept in his free environment by diving into the stands or running halfway across the field to throw a guy out at the plate. The unknown aspect that draws fans and athletes to sports is the hard part of letting sports go according to Giamatti. The anticipation and success of triumphing after a long and strenuous 162 game season will disappear and leave a hole in Jeter’s life. While many athletes lose their passion and competitive edge after their sports careers are older and retire to their vacation homes with their families, Jeter already has ideas on his future. He is strongly considering attempting to buy a team and becoming an owner; making the decisions and bringing a team in the direction he feels right. So while he is enjoying his sabbatical, he still has plans in the back of his mind, waiting to emerge and begin the second chapter in his life. This will combat the deathly idleness that Giamatti says plagues players and people when they are done with their careers. Jeter, although may be taking a break for a while, will certainly not be staying inactive, as he plans to start a family, get more involved in charity work, and become an executive in a Major League ball club. Giamatti’s explanation of retirement as not letting people be free, may hinder Jeter at first when he sees that he can no longer put on the pinstripes and be cheered on by the thousands of fans who root for the Yankees religiously, but he can still find a new form of freedom, which will keep him alive, active, and eager to find success in the next stage of his already thriving career. #JeterHatTip