Derek Jeter took a slight jab at the lone baseball writer who failed to vote for him to get into the Hall of Fame unanimously during his speech at the induction ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.
Jeter started his induction ceremony speech by telling the audience he was struggling to write what he wanted to say until he told himself to “write just how you feel.” He still appeared to be perturbed over receiving 99.7% of the vote from writers in 2020.
He congratulated Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller on getting into Cooperstown with him and then thanked the baseball writers.
“… All but one of you who voted for me,” Jeter said with a smile as he received cheers from the audience who packed the grass and sat through a steady drizzle to hear “The Captain” speak.
The writer who didn’t vote for Jeter has never been revealed. Mariano Rivera was the only player to get 100% of the vote to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Jeter spoke of two memorable moments during his career that stood out for him. Not “The Flip” or hitting a game-winning home run in the 2001 World Series. And not the five World Series championships he won with the New York Yankees.
He pointed to meeting Rachel Robinson, the wife of Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron.
“These two moments in particular is when I realized that it’s more than just a game in a sense. The greatest people and players in this game, the Hall of Fame family, they’re watching. I wanted their approval. During my career, I wanted to make Mrs. Robinson proud. I wanted to make Hank Aaron proud. I want to make all you behind me proud. Not as statistics, proud of how I played the game. How I carried myself and how I respected the game and those before and after me,” Jeter said.
Jeter thanked a lot of members of the Yankees teams he was with during his 20-year career, including Hall of Famer Joe Torre, Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada and “The Boss” George Steinbrenner.
He concluded by thanking Yankees fans for all they did to help him through the good and bad times he played in pinstripes.
Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Derek Jeter, Larry Walker and Ted Simmons hold their plaques for photos after the induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink) (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
“There was only one thing in my life I wanted to be … and that was shortstop for the New York Yankees,” he said. “Now, I’m a Yankee forever. Without question, you helped me get here today as much as any individual who I’ve mentioned. You can’t be fooled. You’re passionate, you’re loyal, knowledgeable, vocal, challenging and supporting.
“There’s a huge responsibility that comes with wearing a Yankee uniform. Just ‘cus you have it on doesn’t guarantee you anything. You have to earn it. You demanded I earn it every single day whether it was during the season or in the offseason. I felt as though I was representing you and I was representing all of New York. I did that in the best possible way I knew how and I wanted to prove to you I belonged. You kept pushing me to prove it over and over again. I was always most comfortable on the field, especially at Yankee Stadium playing in front of you, and I wanted you to be able to count on me. To this day, especially right now in this moment, I still represent you. And it’s been one of the greatest honors of my life.”