Sunday, October 5, 2014
JETER STARTS SOMETHING NEW: MY TAKE
October 1st has become another important day in Derek Jeter history. This time Jeter is helping athletes connect more closely with fans through an innovative site called The Players' Tribune. Touted as "the start of something new," The Players' Tribune's mission is to "present the unfiltered voices of professional athletes, bringing fans closer to the games they love than ever before" and with Jeter at the helm, it has the makings of changing the face of the professional athlete in the eyes of fans.
Earlier today, as I finished off a whirlwind of a week in three cities (I began the 7-day stint in New York City followed by a trip to Boston and found myself mid-week in Washington D.C.), a co-worker said something very profound to me. "You know, Derek Jeter is almost too good." I honestly did not know how to respond. Then, somehow I said, "he was born that way." If Derek Jeter is going to do something, he is going to succeed, because he believes he can. Whether its a publishing opportunity, charity or a website that brings athletes closer to fans, Derek Jeter can do it, and do it well. He's not too good, he's just good and it's because he believes in what he is doing and surrounds himself with equally good people.
As I caught a piece of history last week with Jeter's career ending games in New York and Boston, I reflected on what Jeter has meant to fans, what he has meant to the game and what he has meant to me, these last 20 years. CAPTURING A PIECE OF HISTORY: JETER'S LAST STAND, was BYB's version of The Fans' Tribune- the voice of fans- unedited, real-time, unfiltered and raw emotion, the way the game should feel to us, despite the ARod drama, DRob drama and all the other dramatic distractions that keep us from feeling the game.
My hope for this new Jeter site is that it does provide a sense of closeness, much like it used to be for fans who were able to talk to players on the streets near the ballparks in the old days of baseball. I wrote CONNECTION ISN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE in November 2012. In it, I wrote: "Fenway Park still sits right in town on Yawkey way in Boston, the same as it did when it opened in 1912. The difference today is there are layers of security and gated designated areas, much different than it was back in the day. So, I ask you, are baseball players disconnected from their fans?" With Players' Tribune... let's hope not. Maybe Jeter can change it.
I understand that The Players' Tribune will not just be baseball players, but all professional athletes. According to SI.com, "Jeter said the website will have contributors from athlete editors during the next few months, and he hopes to fill the site with first-person stories."
Much like Jeter's career, the site sounds exciting and I am hopeful that it will not only move us closer to pro athletes and grant us access to the behind the scenes athlete, but it will keep us close to Jeter, who will drop out of the public eye once his appearances are done by the middle of the month. Keep an eye out for the insightful first person stories on The Players' Tribune and right here at BYB- where we've made first person stories a hallmark of this site- thanks to our writers and fans like you.
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
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