Book Review: Derek Jeter from the Pages of the New York Times
- Updated: March 2, 2011
Derek Jeter may not be one of the ten best players in baseball any longer and many fans will argue how much he has been responsible for his own greatness, but one thing is for sure, when Jeter’s name comes up, people listen. That’s what essayist Tyler Kepner and the other writers of this book hope continues to happen.
Derek Jeter from the Pages of the New York Times is a chronicle, both through articles and full color pictures of Jeter’s career. Although it starts with his career in the Major Leagues, it even touches on his time in the minors near the end of its pages.
While the Yankees have had many successful and well known players over the past two decades, no one seems to personify what it means to be a Yankee more than Derek Jeter. Not only has he lived up the New York night life by dating names frequently found on a Hollywood red carpet, but he has been the consummate professional on the field as well.
Although his dating escapades are well known, he never let them interfere with his production on the diamond, especially in the post season. Not only has he produced at the plate, he has earned recognition as one of the game’s premier defensive shortstops as well (although this is probably the most debated aspect of Jeter’s game).
The list of awards Jeter has won is nearly endless and includes: Rookie of the Year, eleven selections to the American League All-Star team, four Silver Slugger awards, five Gold Gloves, an All-Star Game and World Series MVP. Perhaps most importantly, Jeter has enough World Series rings to fill one of his hands and most would assume there are more to come.
The book is a relatively quick read even though it is over 200 pages. The color pictures not only help its pace, but they bring the reader a visual reminder of Jeter’s career path. One of the highlights of the book is that the writing isn’t done by one individual, it is spread around a myriad of sports writers at The Times. This provides the reader with a unique change of pace throughout the work and also allows different perspectives on the Yankee Captain to be heard.
Usually a book that claims to be a chronicle of something takes the events from start to finish and examines them as they go, but this is not the case in this work. The book is divided up into sections such as “The Athlete” and “Character of a Leader” which each examine different parts of Jeter’s career. While this differs from most books of this nature, it does not mean it is a weakness. This actually allows the reader to become more engrossed in the different sections. For instance, instead of having one small section for off the field happenings for every season of his career, the editors of the book decided to make an entire selection devoted to it.
This is certainly a must read for Yankee fans and due to Jeter’s staying power and polarizing personality, other fans of the game may find it entertaining as well. There isn’t a lot of information that the well-educated fan of Jeter didn’t already know, but there are a lot of reminders about where he came from that may have been forgotten.
The book does seem to lack in controversy. While there are some snippets where a writer may question a part of Jeter’s game, there doesn’t seem to be an attempt to challenge the view of Jeter as a beloved figure. This could be blamed on the writers, but it would probably be more accurate to blame it on Jeter himself as he has had very litter controversy surrounding his career.
Overall Rating: 3.75/5