Reflections of Derek Jeter — by Jorge Posada
August 21, 2014 — On August 9, Jorge Posada was at Yankee Stadium to take part in the ceremony that the Yankees held for Paul O’Neill. Shortly after the team dedicated a plaque in Monument Park to O’Neill, I met up with Posada to talk about another iconic Yankee.
For a first-person vignette in the September Issue of Yankees Magazine, Posada shared his thoughts on Derek Jeter, his former teammate and close friend.
Below are Posada’s words about his friendship with Jeter and his tremendous respect for him.
–Alfred Santasiere III
Derek and I first played on the same team in 1992. He was the Yankees’ first-round draft choice that year, and when I first met him, he had ankle braces on, wore his hat weird, and was wearing high-top sneakers. And, he was very skinny. I said to myself, “Is this really our first-round pick?”
Then, he got on the field and started hitting home runs to center field and right field, and I quickly realized how talented he was. Once we began playing games, I couldn’t believe how versatile he was. He was already able to make that jump throw, and he was very fast.
Derek and I didn’t become close friends until 1995. We knew each other before that, and we hung out a little bit, but in 1995, we lived in the same apartment building, and we began spending a lot of time together. When the team was home, we would go out for dinner together, and when we were on the road, we ate lunch together almost every day. That September, we both got called up to the big club at the same time.
As soon as I began spending time with Derek, I learned what a great person he was and how much we had in common. I liked all the qualities that he had, and I felt that they were very similar to my qualities.
I used to write the things I wanted to accomplish on a piece of paper, and he did the same thing. When we were in the minors, I showed him that note. The things he wanted to accomplish were pretty much the same as mine, and we really worked hard together to reach those goals.