Editor’s note: ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap will be on site this Sunday, Sept. 28, to provide live, SportsCenter updates prior to New York Yankee star Derek Jeter’s final Major League Baseball game, a clash with the rival Boston Red Sox. Additionally, Sunday’s Outside The Lines (8 a.m. ET, ESPN2) will explore Jeter’s legacy and the future of the Yankees organization without him. ESPN will also air SportsCenter Special: Derek Jeter (tonight, 8 p.m.), hosted by Karl Ravech.
Derek Jeter’s legendary Major League Baseball career concludes this weekend in a setting he knows all too well – Fenway Park in Boston.
As media and fans alike try to put Jeter’s career into proper perspective, Front Row asked several ESPN commentators to answer one simple question:
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Jeter?
Jaymee Sire, SportsCenter anchor:
Class. He was always straightforward and truthful with the media, played the game the right way and handled himself with dignity.
Jeff Van Gundy, ESPN NBA analyst:
Diligent. He came prepared to work and to win every time out.
Jay Bilas, college basketball insider:
Professional. Jeter is professional in every way, in approach, execution and respect for the game, his teammates and his opponents.
Rick Sutcliffe, Baseball Tonight analyst:
Trust. For the past 20 years, you could always trust him to be prepared mentally and physically.
Bram Weinstein, SportsCenter anchor:
Leader. Derek Jeter was the solidifying force behind a dynasty and a stabilizing force during the transition, all while playing for one of the most scrutinized franchises in sports.
Sean McDonough, play-by-play commentator:
Class. He always conducted himself with a great deal of class, on and off the field.
Pedro Gomez, ESPN MLB insider:
Winner. October defines winning. He won in October.
Jon Barry, ESPN NBA analyst:
Legend. On and off the field, he was always class personified.
Eric Wedge, Baseball Tonight analyst:
Presence. Derek Jeter always had great championship presence.
Tom Penn, ESPN NBA analyst:
Class. Through all of the change, challenge and tumult in baseball over the past two decades, Derek has exemplified consistent class.
Adnan Virk, Baseball Tonight host:
Class. Jeter stands for what’s right in professional sports, excelling at your profession at the highest level and doing it the right way.
Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider:
Teammate. There is no better compliment than being called a great teammate and Jeter is a good a teammate as I have ever seen.
Buster Olney, ESPN MLB insider:
Centerpiece. Two scouts who saw Jeter as a teenager each used that word to describe him in making their case for their respective teams to draft him – Hal Newhouser, the area scout for the Astros, who had the No. 1 overall pick – and passed on Jeter. And Dick Groch, the Yankees’ area scout.
Jayson Stark, ESPN MLB insider:
Unwavering. Derek’s best quality is that, for 20 years, he has been the same guy — consistent, reliable, unflappable, and always aware of who he was and what he was there for. That’s a more rare quality in sports, and life, than you’d think!
Bob Ley, Outside The Lines host:
Reserve. In an age where celebrities feel the need to tell us everything about themselves, Jeter’s sense of self is so strong, it’s refreshing.
Hakem Dermish, SportsCenter host:
Authentic. He walked the walk for his entire Hall of Fame career and he showed us what toughness and humility looked like for 20 years. #Re2pect.
Doug Glanville, Baseball Tonight analyst:
Truth. In an era where some of our greatest players were associated with PEDs, Jeter’s career celebrates that it matters how you achieve greatness.
Steve Levy, SportsCenter anchor:
Smooth. On and off the field. He was always on display. The brightest of lights never made him squint.