The winner of the 2009 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year is Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees
In what has already been a banner year for Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees shortstop can add another honor: Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year award. Jeter was chosen as the magazine's 56th honoree (the Dec. 7 issue will hit newsstands on … see full wiki
Having been snubbed by the MLB writers in 2006 in the American League Most Valuable Player voting to a less-deserving Justin Morneau, Derek waited until 2009 to have another career defining season only this time to fall short in the MVP voting to another Twin, Joe Maur who was actually more deserving. Jeter, at the age of 35 may have seen his last chance to win an MVP before his Hall of Fame career comes to an end.
If not an MVP what great award could someone of Jeter's class, who exemplifies team play, natural game smarts, hustle, and a never say die will to win? This year Sports Illustrated named Jeter their Sportsman of the Year. This is a very prestigious award from the recognized leader in Sports coverage. The magagzine with such knowledgable baseball writers as Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman has recognized Derek as the one athlete this year who promotes the sport and shows all the qualities that are to be admired.
Derek, who never says the "wrong" thing is always positive and always focused on the ultimate prize of winning a championship. Only watching him day in and day out can one see the "class" he exudes. Like a former Yankee Captain (Joe DiMaggio) he seems to always be in the right place at the right time and always looks good, even when he fails.
After a game in mid-season against the rival crosstown Mets, Jeter was asked to comment on an error made by Mets second baseman Luis Castillo that allowed the Yankees to pull out a comeback win in the ninth inning. Jeter admonished the writers for asking such a question saying that it was something that every player and every individual that ever plays baseball goes through. What individual hasn't dropped a routine pop fly?
During the 2009 post season Derek's stellar play continued and he hit over .400 in the World Series to help propel the Yankees to yet another World Series and another ribbing from Yogi Berra as to how many more he will have to win to catch up.
Whether he is risking life and limb to dive into the stands to try and prevent an opponent from scoring, being in the most unexpected place at the "right" time, always making the "right" play with little thought, stealing a base at a clutch time or shooting a ball down the right field line, he will always do something to amaze the fan who thought they had already seen it all. A truely deserving individual!
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