Share this article

Long Before Becoming an NFL Sensation, Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes Gushed About How Derek Jeter Inspired Him To Become a Pro

Published 09/22/2023, 8:00 AM EDT

Follow Us

via Imago

The story of Patrick Mahomes and Derek Jeter goes back decades—the young New York Yankees shortstop and even younger star athlete to be. The former Captain has inspired many baseball stories with his grit to play and determination to win at all costs. But rarely has it affected athletes who, instead of baseball, went on to choose a different sport as professionals.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Most know Patrick Mahomes as the star quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs. But once upon a time, he almost chose baseball over football. Today, the 28-year-old could have been an MLB star had he followed in his dad’s footsteps. And a significant influence on his style of play would likely have been the retired Yankees captain.

Derek Jeter’s Play at Shortstop Influenced Patrick Mahomes as Quarterback


Article continues below this ad

Owing to his father’s career in the majors, Patrick Mahomes was around top-level players. He grew up in the baseball world with his favorite position being shortstop. There’s a now-viral picture of a 5-year-old Mahomes giving competition to former baseballer Mike Hampton at the 2000 World Series. Or specifically, batting practice ahead of it.

Interestingly, that year the Mets faced their AL New York rivals, the Yankees, in the Fall Classic. While Mahomes Sr.’s Mets teammates had always interacted with Mahomes Jr., the Pinstripes had also joined in. As Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reported in 2020, “During one home series against the Yankees, he spent time at shortstop, taking grounders with Jeter.”


Get instantly notified of the hottest NFL stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

It’s a memory that has lasted a lifetime. “I remember being out there at shortstop,” Mahomes said, “(and) him saying, ‘What’s up?’ to me.” The Yankees slugger’s influence was such that Mahomes took away more than a meeting with a star player. “It showed me,” Mahomes said, “a lot about what it took to be a pro.”

Years later, the young kid has taken over the NFL with his heroics and sometimes, one can still see glimpses of a shortstop in his throws. Baseball was all he had known as a kid, at first. Everyone had fully expected Mahomes Jr. to become part of another iconic father-son duo in MLB. But his talents lay elsewhere.

Hard Work Beats It All


Article continues below this ad

The one thing that characterized Derek Jeter in his MLB years was his motivation to give his best in every game. The ex-shortstop spoke on it extensively because in his eyes, talent mattered, but hard work counted more. It was something that both Mahomes recognized.

“Being in a clubhouse and seeing how guys like A-Rod and Jeter went about their business, how hard they worked before the games and after the games, even if they had great games the night before, let him know how hard you have to work to get there and to be one of the best,” Pat Mahomes Sr. said in February 2023. “And then to stay there, you have to work even harder.”


Article continues below this ad

It all rubbed off on Patrick Mahomes Jr., whose massive 10-year, $450-million contract extension signed in 2020 speaks for itself.

WATCH THIS STORY – New York Yankees Legend Derek Jeter Scripted The Perfect End To His Career With This Iconic Walk-off Single

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



Written by:

Arunima Bhanot


One take at a time

Arunima Bhanot is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. Her tryst with MLB was accidental, but what followed was nothing short of a pursuit of excellence. Arunima's articles have been recognized as Editor's Picks on multiple occasions, highlighting her exceptional attention to detail and insightful coverage.
Show More>

Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj