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Derek Jeter

Derek Sanderson Jeter is an American baseball star who plays for the Yankees. He was born on June 26, 1974, in Pequannok, New Jersey to mixed race parents. His father is African American and worked as a drug abuse counselor whereas his mother is of German and Irish descent. His parents gave him a positive upbringing and encouraged him and his sister to play sports. Jeter attended Kalamazoo Central High School and played basketball and baseball, whereas his sister played softball. During high school, Jeter had an impressive batting average and idolized the Yankees player Dave Winfield. He received several honors including Kalamazoo Area B’nai B’rith Award for Scholar Athlete, All-State honorable mention, 1992 High School Player of the Year Award from the American Baseball Coaches Association, USA Today’s High School Player of the Year and 1992 Gatorade High School Player of the Year award.

After high school, Jeter was offered a baseball scholarship by the University of Michigan but instead chose to turn pro and accepted a contract with the New York Yankees for $800,000. He started playing professionally in 1992 with the Gulf Coast Yankees but had a rough start to his career. In his first professional game he struck out 5 times and failed to get a hit in seven at-bats. His performance was no better during the rest of the season, with a batting average of 0.202 in 47 games. He was benched during the final game of the season so his average would not fall below 0.200, known in baseball as the Mendoza Line. He was frustrated by his lack of success on the field but his parents continued to encourage and support him.

He was promoted to the Greensboro Hornets of the Class A South Atlantic League and given more at-bats in the next season where he performed only marginally better. He focused on improving his fielding and was ranked 44th among the top 100 prospects in baseball before the 1993 season. His average improved and before his first full season of professional baseball he was voted him the “Most Outstanding Major

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