The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter by Ian O’Connor

Every professional sport has it’s favorite teams and they are often, also the most hated teams. In baseball, there is no doubt that the Yankees are it’s most loved and hated team! No matter that the Yankees are one of sport’s most hated teams,  there is one Yankee who is almost universally loved and admired. Ask any Yankee hater if there is one Yankee he  admires and the answer will almost assuredly be Derek Jeter! During the era of steroid use, one player has never had a touch of scandal …. Derek Jeter.  This is his story, from being born in Northern New Jersey, to growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to his reaching the Majors and playing shortstop for the Yankees.     From the age of four,  whoever asked Derek what he wanted do when he grew up, the answer was always the same: ‘I want to play shortstop for the New York Yankees.’

Julia Tiedemann grew up in Northern Jersey and Charles Jeter grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, raised by a single Mom. Julia was in the Army in Frankfort, Germany when she met and fell in love with Sanderson Charles Jeter. They married in an era where the thought of a biracial President was the furthest thought from anyone’s mind. When Derek was 4, they moved to Kalamazoo so that Charles could pursue a master’s and a doctorate at Western Michigan University in social work. Derek and his sister, Sharlee were both gifted athletes. And with both of their parents holders of college degrees, there were no question that brother and sister were suppose to excel in school, as well as on the athletic field.  And they did!

Whenever Derek was not in his team uniform, he was always wearing Yankee regalia, shirts, hats, medallions. As his reputation grew in and around Kalamazoo, professional scouts started to get a peek at this high school phenom. No one who saw him play had any doubt that he had the skills to play in the Major Leagues. Now it became a chess game, as scouts from many teams started to accumulate data on this teenager.

Not to give away too much about the machinations of draft picks, but the Yankees didn’t get to select a player until the 6th pick. Somehow Yankee luck held out and Derek was available for the Yankees! Ian O’Connor has woven a fascinating tale of one of baseball’s favorite players. This will be an enjoyable read … even for a Red Sox fan!

Enjoy a good baseball story this summer by finding and reserving this book in our catalog.


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