Hey Derek Jeter, thanks a lot man

I’m not a Yankee fan, but I’m really going to miss Derek Jeter. He’s not only a great baseball player. He’s a great person. A lot of my friends have heard this story already, but one time Derek Jeter gave me twenty bucks. I was out with some buddies and we saw Jeter headed our way. And I thought, I wonder how he’ll react if I just walk up to him and ask him for some money? So I did, I say, “Hey Derek, can I have twenty bucks?” and he looked kind of confused, but yeah, he took out his wallet and gave me twenty bucks. That was such a nice thing to do, and I’ll never forget it.

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Another time, years later, I was walking in the city and, stupid me, I had my eyes locked onto my cell phone. I know, it’s stupid, I’m getting in everyone’s way, not paying attention to where I’m going. But most importantly, it’s just not safe. And boy did I learn my lesson that day. I was crossing some street when I heard the loud blare of a horn. When I looked up from my phone, I saw a truck, a giant truck, it was coming at me, fast. I couldn’t react, I only had just enough time to register in my head that, this was it, I’m dead, there’s nothing I can do. Just then, someone shoved me, hard. As I fell to the ground, I’m not even kidding, the truck just missed me. Like I could feel the wind as it barreled through the light. And guess who was on top of me? Guess who had pushed me out of the way? It was Derek Jeter. He saved my life. “You better be careful man!” he said to me as he walked away.

It’s like, sometimes I wonder if maybe Derek Jeter isn’t my guardian angel or something. A couple of years after that, I was caught in traffic, like really, really bad traffic. The lights kept changing, and people kept honking their car horns, but we weren’t moving at all. Finally, this limo right ahead of me, the back door opened up and Derek Jeter steps out. Number two walked right into the middle of the intersection and he started giving all of these crazy hand signals, pointing at this car, holding his fist open at mine. I’m totally serious here, traffic let up immediately. I have no idea how he did it. I hope he wound up getting to wherever it was he was going that day, because if it weren’t for him, I’d probably still be stuck in that jam.

A couple of months ago, I changed my doctor. The new doctor wanted me to go through this allergy testing at a lab somewhere off site. I didn’t really see the point, but I went anyway. I thought, what could it hurt? And it turned out that I had celiac disease. “Really?” I asked the doctor. “I can’t eat gluten anymore?” And just as I was settling in to the idea of having to go gluten free, thinking about how much more difficult life was going to be from here on out, guess who happened to be walking by the door? It was Derek Jeter. “Sorry to interrupt guys,” he said, popping his head in. “It’s just that, I couldn’t help but hearing about that gluten allergy, and I think you may have mixed up this patient’s charts.” The doctor stopped for a second and then said, “You know what? I think you’re right. I can’t believe I mixed that up. How did you spot that?” And Derek Jeter just said, “Well, playing pro baseball, you learn a lot about paying attention to really small details during long stretches of time.”

Derek, I can’t thank you enough for coming to my aid so many times throughout the course of my life. And these are only a few of the stories that I know about. Who knows? Maybe you’ve helped me out even more behind my back. I really appreciate it, Derek. I know that you’ve got a really busy life, but it’s nice to know that you go out of your way to look out for your fellow man.

Not like A-Rod. I’ve heard that he’s such a dick in real life. I mean, I don’t have any personal anecdotes to either confirm or deny, but he just kind of looks like a jerk, don’t you think? Not you, Derek. You’re the real deal: you look like a really nice guy, and based on my experiences, you are a really nice guy. Thank you.

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