Here are a few qualities of Jeter’s more public side:
- He takes nothing for granted. That quality first endeared him to manager Joe Torre. When Torre named the rookie as starting shortstop, Jeter told the world he was getting “an opportunity to become the shortstop.” His manager loved that. “In his mind, he had to earn the right to be the shortstop,” Torre says. “In mine, I was giving him the right to be the shortstop. It’s different. That impressed me.”
- He’s no sloucher. Jeter learned a lot about from fellow player Don Mattingly, who had the rookie work out by jogging across empty stadium fields. During this year’s spring training, the Yankee veterans wanted to go home, but Jeter made them stay and run. “He makes sure we get our work in,” says Johnny Damon. “That’s why he’s him.”
- He works behind the scenes. Jeter probably does more media interviews than any other Yankee, but he keeps the sensitive stuff out of public view. “That doesn’t mean I don’t say things or I’m not vocal,” he points out. “You guys maybe don’t know about it. But you don’t have to know about everything.” ’Nuf said.