Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Best George Steinbrenner Stories - Derek Jeter, Gulf Coast League Rookie

Derek Jeter, Yankee Captain, shortstop
Told to Michael Kay by Derek Jeter during an interview on the show Centerstage on the YES Network

Back when Derek Jeter was an eighteen year old nobody, he was walking alone through Legend's Field, the Yankee Spring Training Complex, when The Boss called out to him. Jeter couldn't believe that Yankee owner George Steinbrenner knew his name. Mr. Steinbrenner put his arm around the young man and told him that the club had big plans for him.

"Son, my baseball people tell me that someday you may be as good as Bucky Dent," said the owner with a smile.

Jeter, always self-confident, politely asked Mr. Steinbrenner if he had heard about the long-term contracts several rising young stars like Carlos Baerga were signing.

Mr. Steinbrenner lost the smile but guided the young prospect up to his office. They sat in silence as The Boss made a phone call.

Arthur Richman soon appeared at the door with a bottle of single malt scotch, a box of Cuban cigars and two attractive prostitutes. The smile returned to The Boss' face and he said, "Don't you worry about what some bush leaguer in Cleveland is getting, son. You're a Yankee now."

After a memorable afternoon, Mr. Steinbrenner turned to his young phenom and offered up some words of advice, "Never validate their parking."

And Derek Jeter never did.

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