How Derek Jeter Went From Main Participant to Married Dad: Domesticating Baseball’s Most Well-known Bachelor

It is laborious to consider an athlete who approached life extra prudently than former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter.

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For the 20 years he performed baseball, did anybody have the world at his ft greater than Derek Jeter?

The New York Yankees shortstop gave his adoring followers what they needed within the type of 5 World Collection titles, incomes him nicknames like “Captain Clutch” and “Mr. November.” In flip, Jeter was gifted with fame, lots of of tens of millions of {dollars}, 14 journeys to the MLB All-Star Recreation and extra feminine consideration than anybody man would possibly know what to do with. In January 2020, he was one vote shy of changing into solely the second participant ever to be unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Irrespective of to Jeter, he made it to Cooperstown all the identical.

All through his taking part in profession, regardless of being one of many greatest names in all of sports activities, not to mention the official BMOC within the Huge Apple, he in some way remained freed from any main scandals or anything that might have tarnished the Yanks’ beloved No. 2—no failed drug assessments, no arrests or bombshell authorized troubles, no messy divorce, no dishonest scandals.

After all, to have a few of these issues he must have been married within the first place. And Jeter, with utmost goal, remained a bachelor throughout his taking part in days.

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Not that he was a monk for 20 years. However by some masterly show of social wizardry, regardless of being a famend playboy, he was an inoffensive playboy, somebody who enjoyed the spoils of his good fortune however not in a approach that bought publicly out of hand or made him the thing of feminine scorn. Mainly, Jeter was the face of the phrase ladies need him and males need to be him.

“Do not get me fallacious, it is not like I did not exit and have enjoyable,” he told Esquire in 2011. “However there’s been plenty of gamers that come to New York and get caught up within the way of life, and earlier than you realize it, they’re despatched away to a different staff as a result of it affected their efficiency. My primary precedence was on the sector. I’ve had enjoyable. It is not like I’ve by no means gone out; I’ve achieved plenty of issues. However I’ve all the time stored sight of my primary precedence.”

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That did not cease anybody from writing about Jeter, although—and he was cautious to not learn any of it. “I used to be all the time scared that I would see my title after which scroll to see what they’re saying,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “And I did not need to cope with that after I was taking part in. I would inform my household and associates, ‘In case you learn one thing or hear one thing, do not inform me about it.’ I did not need to learn negativity.”

And in the end his recreation plan—give attention to work, play on the sector, play the discipline, after which get severe when the sport is over, when there’s extra time and fewer temptation—labored out completely. He and wife Hannah Jeter, married since July 9, 2016, are having fun with life in sunny Florida with daughters Bella Raine and Story Gray Jeter.

“Elevating a household in Miami is unquestionably totally different than in New York,” Jeter told Haute Living in 2019, simply after Story was born, in a uncommon interview that touched on his non-business world—which these days consists of being president of the Miami Marlins. “It is good as a result of we’re now in our own residence, and it makes it simple to maneuver round, play within the yard, benefit from the open air, and many others. My spouse loves residing in Miami. My oldest daughter is heading into faculty considerably quickly, so we have begun the method of colleges. We’re having fun with life and elevating our household right here.”

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Being an unimpeachable staff participant for probably the most storied baseball franchise on the planet definitely helped his picture over all. So did staying quiet.

Because the face of the Yankees he was known as upon to present sound bites concerning the recreation each night time, questions he fielded as deftly as line drives—a couple of phrases right here, a couple of there, by no means one of many guys recognized for outbursts or controversial feedback. He was all enterprise, on a regular basis. And whereas he was reluctant sufficient to speak about himself as a baseball participant, he was prolifically silent when it got here to his non-public life.

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“You need to assume that every little thing you do is public information,” Jeter told Sports Illustrated on the eve of his retirement in 2014. “Every thing. As a result of now everyone seems to be a reporter. Everyone seems to be a photographer. Somebody can take an image and make a narrative, which has occurred loads of instances, and twist it and switch it anyway they need to. You used to have the ability to exit…it is all I’ve recognized. I have been right here since I used to be 20.”

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Jeter was drafted by the Yankees proper out of highschool in 1992 and made his main league debut on Could 29, 1995—a decade earlier than Fb, Twitter and Instagram would rear their heads in succession, thereby eternally altering what it is prefer to be a well-known individual, whether or not they add to the cacophony themselves or not.

Jeter, for one, doesn’t tweet and is not on Instagram. (Hannah has accounts however makes use of them sparingly, they usually’re kid-free zones.) Nonetheless, a minimum of partly impressed by how simply an individual’s message can get misconstrued when it is relayed by third events, Jeter launched The Players’ Tribune, an internet discussion board for athletes to share their tales in their very own phrases that shortly change into a well-liked place for them to interrupt information as properly.

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Hannah, in reality, used the positioning in February 2017 to submit, “The Derek I Know,” an essay concerning the second she realized her boyfriend was a very huge deal.

As a globe-trotting mannequin herself for the reason that age of 14, she was accustomed to the toll {that a} demanding schedule can tackle a private life. When a good friend launched the Saint Thomas-born magnificence to Jeter whereas she was out to dinner along with her mother in New York, Hannah knew who the man was however wasn’t all caught up within the baseball factor. Fortunately, she recalled, they met throughout the low season and had an opportunity to spend actual time collectively earlier than he needed to get again into recreation mode.

“And proper from the beginning, I may inform that the timing of Derek’s life and mine have been aligned,” she wrote, noting that regardless of being solely in her early 20s, her job had induced her to develop up “actually quick.”

“The reality is: Simply as Derek had lived an entire life earlier than he’d met me, I would lived an entire life earlier than I would met Derek,” Hannah mentioned.

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And that is good, as a result of Jeter had lived not only a entire life, however what plenty of males would arguably contemplate to be the life.

When he was a fresh-faced Yankee simply beginning out within the Nineties, he dated Mariah Carey, who was extra recognized for her mad octave vary than anything on the time, however was nonetheless an icon-in-the-making. She met the baseball participant in 1997 at a charity gala when her marriage to Sony exec Tommy Mottola had already begun to unravel.

Jeter was by no means been one to kiss and inform, however Carey has seemed on the relationship fondly within the rear-view mirror, telling Larry King on CNN in 2002, “I feel he is a fantastic man, I actually do. And I actually, actually love his household. They actually taught me one thing particular, as a result of coming from an interracial background, you realize, you had the identical kind of background precisely.”

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Requested why they did not keep collectively, she replied, “It simply did not work out.”

However she did like courting somebody who had the tendency to get mobbed as a lot as she did, relying on the setting. “It is like if we have been in one thing that was extra his world, there could be folks that got here as much as me, as properly,” Carey recalled. “However me and him, if we have been in one other kind of state of affairs or in one other, you realize, place the place baseball is not the factor they might come to me. And I welcomed any individual else getting the eye. I am, like, ‘whoa, good for you!’, you realize what I imply? And he is very near his household; it is implausible. You recognize, I liked to spend time together with his mom and sister and father.”

In the end, she told Parade in 2005, “It was the fallacious time. Our two worlds have been simply an excessive amount of for that second.” They broke up in 1998.

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In 2000, the rumor was that Jeter spied the reigning Miss Universe, Lara Dutta, on Stay With Regis & Kathie Lee and despatched her some tickets to a Yankees recreation—however earlier than she and her seat mate, Miss USA Lynnette Cole, bought an opportunity to fulfill their benefactor after the sport (throughout which Jeter hit a house run), Dutta bought a headache and left.

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“I’ve by no means seen her earlier than,” Jeter told the New York Daily News when questioned concerning the particulars, earlier than promptly ending the interview. “That is it, I am achieved.”

He bought to know her in some unspecified time in the future although, and he proceeded to wine and dine the wonder queen for nearly a 12 months earlier than they parted methods.

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The next 12 months, Jeter was linked to singer-actress Pleasure Enriquez—whom, legend has it, Alex Rodriguez had his eye on first when he unwittingly launched her to his pal on the 2001 MLB All-Star Recreation.

“Clearly Derek is a superb good friend, and I’ve completely no cause to be upset about something—that is loopy,” A-Rod advised the NY Daily News that August, giving them his “whole blessing.” Furthermore, “I’ve a girlfriend, and I’ve had a girlfriend for a very long time. I simply need to get invited to the…” He thought higher of it earlier than saying, “I haven’t got something to say about that.” (The girlfriend he talked about was presumably his future spouse Cynthia Scurtis, whom he married in 2002. They divorced in 2008.)

As for Jeter, all he needed to say was “they will write no matter they need.”

Issues have been already bizarre from the skin trying in with these two, Rodriguez having already mentioned within the April 2001 subject of Esquire that Jeter—not but his teammate but additionally a celebrity shortstop—was so profitable as a result of he’d been “blessed with nice expertise round him.”

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“He is by no means needed to lead,” Rodriguez, then with the Texas Rangers, mentioned. “He can simply go and play and have enjoyable. He hits second—that is completely totally different than third or fourth in a lineup. You go into New York, you wanna cease Bernie [Williams] and [Paul] O’Neill. You by no means say, ‘Do not let Derek beat you.'”

Jeter advised The New York Times he deliberate to name his buddy in mild of these remarks; in some unspecified time in the future, whether or not earlier than or after that chat, Rodriguez clarified, saying, “‘How can I ever canine Derek Jeter? It is not possible. There may be nothing to knock. He is a fantastic defensive participant. He is a fantastic offensive participant.He is one of many prime three gamers within the recreation, for the best staff of my period.”

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Rodriguez joined the Yankees in 2004 they usually performed collectively till Jeter retired. Sitting down for a joint interview with CNBC in Could 2017 to speak about their respective charities, they have been requested if their friendship had recovered from A-Rod’s extra outspoken days, to which Jeter mentioned, “You are mentioning tales from about 20 years in the past, huh?” Rodriguez added, “Is that this the Historical past channel?”

In the meantime, although Jeter remained tight-lipped about his love life, he by no means suppressed his love of the New York Knicks, treating a parade of dates, together with girlfriends Jordana Brewster and Vanessa Lachey (then Vanessa Minnillo), to courtside seats at Madison Sq. Backyard. He reportedly was charmed by Brewster after seeing her in The Quick and the Livid and got down to meet her—which if true would not have been the primary time he had made it a actuality after liking the look of a girl onscreen. Such was the Jeter life.

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They mutually parted methods in 2002, he dated Vanessa the next 12 months (publicly sufficient that they even made it onto a crimson carpet collectively) after which he was linked to Adriana Lima.

New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey told Men’s Journal in 2013, speaking about Jeter, “That man is the mannequin. First off, let’s simply have a look at the ladies he is dated. Clearly, he goes out—he is assembly these ladies someplace—however you by no means hear about it. That is the place I need to be.”

Jessica Alba was linked to Jeter in 2004, however he was a free agent by 2005, when he was noticed shortly after New Yr’s getting cozy with actress Stacy Lynn Spierer on the Waldorf Astoria lodge. When she told the NY Daily News that her boyfriend was concerned within the Secret Santa Mission along with her (sports activities stars teamed as much as give vacation presents to underprivileged youngsters), she was requested if that boyfriend was Jeter. “Oh, gosh,” she mentioned, reportedly getting flustered. “I do not know what to say. I do not know what I am allowed to say.”

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Jeter’s privateness was legendarily necessary to him, a lot in order that associates mentioned he would ask ladies he was interested by a wide range of “what would you do on this state of affairs?” questions as a take a look at of their values. When he threw events, he’d have company examine their cell telephones and cameras on the door. 

And he additionally apparently appreciated to be the one to make the primary transfer. “I would see a supermodel on the prime of her recreation attempt to get to Derek, and it by no means occurred,” R.D. Lengthy, Jeter’s roommate and teammate when he was within the minor leagues, mentioned in Ian O’Connor‘s 2011 biography The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter. “Simply how she tried to do it did not work for him.”

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Although conflicting stories have her courting Justin Timberlake as early as January 2007, that is when Jessica Biel was off basking in the sunshine in Puerto Rico whereas on trip with Jeter throughout their temporary fling.

In 2008, nonetheless, Jeter began courting Minka Kelly, they usually bought severe sufficient that even these near him have been anticipating him to pop the query to Esquire’s Sexiest Lady Alive circa 2010 in some unspecified time in the future.

Requested by an Esquire author for a March 2011 profile what he’d be doing later within the day, Jeter smiled and mentioned, “I am in all probability going to go house and watch a film. I will watch The Roommate. It is a new one. Simply got here out at the moment. Go test it out.” (The Roommate starred Minka as a younger girl being terrorized by her loopy roomie, performed by Leighton Meester.)

They went to Paris collectively, she sat within the stands at numerous Yankee video games and even rode on the 2009 World Collection parade float and, like Carey all these years earlier than, Kelly bought to know Jeter’s mother and father, Dot and Charles. She was sitting with them when their son collected his 3,000th hit in 2011, barely a month earlier than they broke up for good.

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Apparently, in 2009 Kelly told Men’s Health that she most popular a man with some tough edges—and Jeter does not fancy himself the rough-edge kind. “A person ought to love his household, however I do not do properly with guys who come from good households,” she mentioned. “He must be a bit sophisticated and damaged. I am unable to relate to the superbly home-bred boy. I need somebody who has had ache in his life and discovered from it.”

Furthermore, Jeter is extraordinarily near his mother and father, even selecting to have the Yankees retire his No. 2 purposely on Mom’s Day. “I selected Mom’s Day as a result of I’ve a really particular relationship, not solely with my mom, however with my entire household,” he explained to Newsday“I selected Mom’s Day and the very first thing my dad mentioned was, ‘What are we going to do on Father’s Day?’ However my mother particularly has been very supportive ever since I used to be youthful, however not simply taking part in baseball. It was with something that me or my sister needed to do the place she was very supportive. So I believed it might be good to have this big day on Mom’s Day to honor her and all that she’s meant not solely to my profession, however she helped form who I’m at the moment.”

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After he and Kelly break up up in 2011, with a supply telling E! Information on the time that the breakup got here as a shock to her, Jeter stayed single for awhile—and at 37 he confirmed contemporary life on the sector, batting .411 by April 23, 2012, and ending the season with probably the most hits (216) within the majors that 12 months.

“I maintain kidding him that it is like 1999 once more—three hits every single day. He is superb,” Rodriguez told reporters that April about his resurgent teammate. Added Yankees supervisor Joe Girardi, “He is taking part in like he is 25.”

A brand new spring in his step, he put rumors of his imminent retirement to relaxation. However he was beginning to consider life after baseball—by no means extra so than when he met Hannah Davis.

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As the long run Mrs. Jeter would later say, the timing was excellent, and Jeter proposed in October 2015, a 12 months after he mentioned goodbye to skilled baseball after a prolific profession.

Although they did not shun the highlight fully, the two have been like-minded about wanting their privateness. “I really feel like I’ve to share each different a part of my life,” Hannah told Maxim in early 2016. “It is that one half that is a bit little bit of a thriller to folks, however that is the best way we wish it. The one technique to defend it isn’t to speak about it.”

Requested what attracted her to Captain Clutch, she mentioned, “Making an attempt to impress you with materials issues? I feel that is lame. I needed somebody whose household is a giant, necessary a part of their life.”

Checkmate.

Jeter confirmed their engagement on The Players Tribune in November 2015 within the type of a reference to his “fiancée,” whose title he by no means used, in a submit about his relationship with the Italian Mastiff named Kane that Hannah had given him for Christmas the earlier 12 months. He had all the time been afraid of canine, he wrote, ever since seeing Cujo as a child.

And certain sufficient, the heartfelt submit additionally served as a metaphor about post-retirement life. 

“Being a ‘canine proprietor’ continues to be new to me,” Jeter admitted. “Just a little problem might be good. I suppose it is doable to study new methods.”

(Initially revealed Aug. 19, 2017, at 6 a.m. PT)


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