Chris DeMarco, Staff Writer

One has to wonder if the New York Yankees knew what they were getting when they picked shortstop Derek Jeter in the first round of the 1992 Major League Amateur Draft.

The Yankees have the Houston Astros to thank for not listening to one of their scouts, Hal Newhouser, who advocated using the first pick on Jeter, and selecting Phil Nevin instead.

All Jeter has done since then is accumulate a collection of accolades, including the Rookie of the Year award, an All-Star MVP award and a World Series MVP award.

No one would have thought that the rookie shortstop for the Yankees would have turned out to be this amazing, let alone make the starting lineup for the Yankees in 1996.

Manager Joe Torre, who was in his first year with the Yankees, took a chance and it has paid off big time.

It seems that no matter what Jeter accomplishes, he still ends up being labeled as “overrated.” A lot of critics undermine the worth of Jeter.

A lot of people claim that his age is catching up with him and that he does not play the position as well as others in the league. All Jeter does is play his heart out for the Yankees every night.

It was not until recently that people have started to compare Jeter to the all-time great Yankee players, an endlessly long list. Most of the game’s greatest players, such as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig, were Yankees.

Jeter took over sole possession of most career hits as a Yankee, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record. The accomplishment is an amazing feat, but it is kind of disappointing that people are just now realizing how amazing Jeter truly is.

He has been constantly criticized for not being the game’s top shortstop or not winning a title in the past eight seasons. As far as some are concerned, Jeter has had his spot reserved in Cooperstown for almost the last 10 years.

Jeter has been, and still is, one of the classiest in the game. He is always approachable and always polite, even still referring to his former manager as “Mr. Torre.”

He does not let the New York spotlight get to him or ruin his image, while his teammate Alex Rodriguez is the polar opposite.

When it is all said and done, Jeter will be regarded as one of the most clutch performers of all time and will be considered one of the greatest players of all time, among the likes of Ruth, Hank Aaron and Cal Ripken, Jr.

Everyone should give Jeter the ultimate respect he undoubtedly deserves and enjoy the time he has left as a Yankee because the game might never see a player quite like him again.