Recollections of Derek Jeter — by David Cone
June 29, 2014 — A few weeks ago, I had dinner at NYY Steak in Manhattan with a group of friends that included perfect game pitchers Don Larsen, David Wells and David Cone (see photo below with the perfect game pitchers, Matthew Shauger of the New York Giants and me).
After our group finished dinner, the perfect game pitchers were interviewed for a special episode of Yankees Magazine TV show, which is on the YES Network.
Listening to Larsen, Wells and Cone discuss their respective perfect games was just as interesting as our candid dinner conversation — and trust me, it was interesting.
The half-hour show about the perfect games is scheduled to air next month.
I also had the opportunity to ask Cone a few questions about Derek Jeter for one of the many vignettes on the captain, which are scheduled to appear in the September Issue of Yankees Magazine. Below are Cone’s words about Jeter.
Alfred Santasiere III
I was Derek’s teammate during the first few years of his career, and he was remarkably mature from Day One. He was levelheaded and very grounded. As veterans, we would challenge the rookies. We would look for things that they would do wrong, and Derek never gave us any material. He was way ahead of his years and he knew how to handle himself.
I’ve been around a lot of great teammates, guys who had ups and downs and guys who showed emotion. With Derek, you couldn’t tell from one day to the next whether he got four hits or struck out four times. He was always mentally prepared to play well. He knew how to turn the page better than anybody I’ve ever seen.
Derek made other players better simply by the way he showed up for work. He took the game seriously, and he was prepared to play every day. In those ways, he reminded me of Don Mattingly. Derek’s work ethic and energy were infectious.
Derek’s greatest accomplishment has been his consistently. To be able to put up big numbers for as long as he has is extremely difficult. He’s been consistently great because of his relentless drive. No one goes about their business with more of an unwavering desire to be the best than Derek.