Michael Jordan is publicly showing his respect for Derek Jeter’s career on the weekend the shortstop gets his number two retired by the New York Yankees.
Jordan published a letter to Jeter in The Players’ Tribune as a way to honor Jeter’s legacy, which will be cemented Sunday when his number is retired at Yankee Stadium.
A legacy is built by more than what is seen. It is not given, it is earned.
Beyond your 20 years in the Majors and an endless list of accolades, it was your love and respect for the game that set you apart.
Your pursuit of greatness on and off the field has set the standard for others to follow.
The letter is short, but it’s certainly a touching gesture that pairs nicely with a letter Jeter published on the site dedicated to the city of New York, along with a video reading of that letter.
The Players’ Tribune is a uniquely strange entity in the sports world, and this is a good example of that weirdness. Jeter started the online publication when he retired from baseball in 2014. While many pieces are clearly ghostwritten, it does offer athletes a way to speak out about a wide range of topics, including player safety.
There are times Players’ Tribune articles offer a new and interesting depth to a story, like James Harden revealing how he and Mike D’Antoni prepared for his full-time transition to point guard last summer by watching video of Steve Nash. Then there are pieces like these, which are mostly ceremonial but notable because of whose byline is on the piece and the initial list of major sports stars noted on the masthead as “senior editors.”
Either way, Jordan enjoys writing letters to superstar athlete friends who achieve significant milestones. In recent months he sent a special pair of custom Jordans to Serena Williams for winning her 23rd career Grand Slam. There was, of course, a short note inside.
It’s just nice when superstar friends are nice to one another.