An account of the charmed life of New York Yankee icon Derek Jeter that’s as short on salacious revelations as it is long on adulation.
If Jeter’s life hasn’t been perfect, it’s come pretty close. Notwithstanding some troubling childhood encounters with racism, the handsome, charismatic, biracial Jeter managed to combine the hardworking mindset of his grandfather with the loving positivity of his parents to turn himself into the best baseball prospect—not to mention the biggest Yankees fan—ever to emerge from Kalamazoo, Mich. After being drafted by those same Yankees, the highly touted prospect shot through the minor league ranks and went on to win rookie of the year in Major Leagues, an honor that would presage bigger things to come. ESPNNewYork.com writer O’Connor (Arnie and Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf’s Greatest Rivalry, 2009) ably chronicles that rise and those bigger things, including five World Series titles to date, as well as the astonishing list of A-list starlets Jeter dated along the way (while miraculously minimizing his tabloid presence), and his strange relationship with superstar rival/teammate Alex Rodriguez. Though Jeter’s cooperation was limited to a few locker-room interviews, it quickly becomes apparent how much the author reveres his subject, a man whose on-field talent is apparently matched by his off-field integrity, impish sense of humor and ability to charm children. The only real dirt O’Connor can dig up is Jeter’s inability to forgive those who slight him, no matter how innocuously, and even that revelation reads like a well-qualified job candidate’s rehearsed response to the standard interview question about one’s greatest weakness. Still, there’s something refreshing about an icon who actually lives up to his billing as a nice guy, hard worker and great teammate, even if it seems odd to tell his story while it’s still unfolding.
Not unlike the Captain’s public persona—polished and well put together, but a bit bland.