If you have been a fan of the New York Yankees during Derek Jeter's Hall of Fame career Ian O'Connor's recently-released book about Jeter, 'The Captain: The Journey Of Derek Jeter' should be required reading. If you have not yet read the book, do yourself a favor and take the time to do just that.
I was fortunate enough to have the publisher send me a review copy a while back, and though I finished the book pretty quickly I have admittedly been derelict in putting fingers to keyboard and telling you what I think of the work.
So, time to rectify that. With Jeter on the precipice of 3,000 hits -- he is just four shy -- I'd say it's about darn time I got around to this.
O'Connor's book is not a frilly, bow at the feet of the Captain and kiss his many rings book. It credits Jeter for his greatness and for the way he has conducted himself throughout his career. O'Connor, though, does not gloss over Jeter's icy treatment of Alex Rodriguez, his declining range as a shortstop in recent years, his contentious contract negotiation with the Yankees over the winter and more. It tell us about Jeter's relationship with Joe Torre, and the dents in his current relationship with the Yankee front office.
The book gives us a glimpse into the family life that shaped Jeter into the team-first player he has always been. It tells us about the extreme good fortune the Yankees had in being able to draft him. It gives us an honest assessment of how, during the first half of Jeter's career, everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. The second half of his career, however, as his skills have declined, has been less of a joy ride.
Jeter cooperated with the book, which helps it immensely. Yet, this is not just O'Connor regurgitating Jeter's words -- which, in truth, is what many sports autobiographies are.
This is O'Connor making his best effort to piece together everything that has made Jeter into Jeter, and doing a very good job of it. If you are a Yankee fan you won't be disappointed.