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“That’s Just an Excuse”– Hall of Famer Derek Jeter Once Revealed the Upbringing Instilled in Him for Working Harder Than Anyone Else

Published 03/12/2023, 2:11 PM EDT

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Derek Jeter’s towering legacy as a paragon of class and composure didn’t simply fall into his lap on the day he was born. No, it was sculpted over time through a combination of his upbringing, life experiences, and a work ethic that is unparalleled. Not content to simply rest on his natural talents, the former shortstop understood the value of relentless hard work, which made him the true icon of baseball. 

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For years, Jeter had held the position of captain for the New York Yankees. He built a legacy so big that whenever the Yankees’ name is mentioned, Jeter’s name automatically comes in the same breath. But it was his tireless work ethic that truly set him apart from the competition and that made him embody the true essence of what it meant to be the best at his craft.

The Hall of Famer’s drive to succeed was instilled in him by his parents 


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Amidst a sea of tumultuous waves in his career, Derek Jeter’s ship remained steadfast, guided by a compass that led to the shores of greatness. After a blazing moment in 2009, when he lifted the World Series trophy for the 5th time, the following year saw the Yankees falter and fall short of defending their title. 

But the captain remained undeterred by the setback. In an interview with GQ in 2011, he revealed the secret to his success, which is not much of a secret, but it’s an important one: hard work. Growing up his parents instilled in him an important lesson, “My parents always told me, ‘There’s always going to be someone that’s better,’ “ he said. “But there’s no reason why someone should outwork you. That’s just an excuse.”


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And his track record speaks for itself. He showed up, he did the work, and now he is a Cooperstown resident. Jeter’s legacy lives alongside the best of the best in the world of baseball. Which is certainly something, isn’t it?

Why Derek Jeter had the drive to succeed as much as he did

Derek Jeter’s unrelenting drive was rooted in his upbringing. Growing up as a biracial kid in Kalamazoo, he faced the hard reality of discrimination head-on. But rather than let it defeat him, the athlete’s parents equipped him with a powerful tool: resilience. And that certainly has guided him throughout his entire life! 


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In the end, it just proves that his drive to succeed was not just about winning games and breaking records – it was about him overcoming every and any obstacle, no matter how big.

WATCH THIS STORY: Ranking New York Yankees Legend Derek Jeter’s Greatest Ever MLB All-Star Games

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Written by:

Garima Verma


One take at a time

Garima is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. She has recently graduated as a Master's student in Media and Communications. She is an avid reader and an ardent cinema fan.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar