Watching Derek Jeter’s No. 2 being retired Sunday, jogged my memory of his days with the Albany Colonie Yankees. Jeter once played for the Double-A Yanks at Heritage Park. Nobody knew back then Jeter would turn out to be one of the greatest Yankee players of all time, but we all knew he was really good and that the Yankees had big plans for him. Five World Series rings later, those plans turned into a Hall of Fame career, both on and off the field.

Jeter did a couple of things in the biggest professional sports market of which few are capable. First and foremost for Yankees fans, he seemed to save his best for last, for when the lights were brightest and pressure was its greatest. Second, Jeter managed to never land on the backpages of New York City newspapers for something other than baseball. Yes, he garnered headlines for some of the celebrities he dated, but never for being out late at a club or hanging with the wrong crowd. And that might be even more impressive than his play on the field.

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