“He’s El Capitan”- ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Once Explained Why Derek Jeter Is the Greatest Leader in Sports History

Published 12/12/2022, 8:00 AM EST

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Having played and dominated the game of baseball for over 20 years, Derek Jeter needs no introduction. Apart from being a brilliant player, Jeter was one of the very few players who had a unique leadership trait. Goes without saying that, to date, Jeter has probably been the best captain in MLB.

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And renowned sports commentator Stephen A. Smith could not agree more on the same.

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Notably, Smith is an avid and vocal fan of the Pinstripes. Therefore, when the former shortstop got inducted into the Hall of Fame, he hailed him as the greatest leader in sports history. Not only this, but he also ranted out over the one person who did not vote for Jeter to be a Hall of Famer.

How did Stephen explain Derek Jeter as the greatest leader?

After the announcement of the HOF class of 2020, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, in an interview, was asked whether Derek Jeter has been the greatest leader in sports history. And without giving it much thought, Smith’s answer was “without question.”

Later, he went on to say, “He’s El Capitan. He was the ultimate champion, five-time champion (with) 310 batting average.” 

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He continued to say Jeter’s statistics over the 20 years are something everybody knows. But what nobody knows is the one person who did not vote for the Captain. Because if it wasn’t for that one vote, the Yankees legend would have been selected unanimously, just like Mariano Riviera did a year before him.

Jeter always prioritized the team ahead of his individual glory:

It is no secret that Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees were a match made in heaven. While playing for the biggest MLB franchise, Jeter only believed in the team’s result. Not that he was not a great player, but he almost never compromised the team with his individual glory. And that is the main reason, why his name became a synonym for the word “captain.”

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Watch this story: Throwback: New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter scripted the perfect end to his career with this iconic walk-off single

Given the tremendous career and achievements Captain Clutch had in his career, do you agree with him being the greatest leader in sports history? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Written by:

Rakshita Madan

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Rakshita Madan is an MLB author at EssentiallySports. She is an engineering graduate and is currently pursuing her MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai. Rakshita has experience in writing for more than four years now, with one of her writings even getting published in an anthology.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar

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