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Derek Jeter talks Steinbrenner, number retirement

Is George Steinbrenner a Hall of Famer?

According to the Captain, “Of course.”

At a Turn 2 Foundation event in Chelsea Piers on Wednesday, retired Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter discussed Steinbrenner’s Hall of Fame candidacy and his upcoming number retirement.

“I think he’s arguably one of the greatest owners in all of sports,” Jeter told the Daily News. “Why he’s not, you have (to ask) some guys that vote.”

Steinbrenner received five of the 12 votes needed for induction from the Today’s Game Era Committee. The committee instead voted former commissioner Bud Selig and longtime Braves executive John Schuerholz into the Hall of Fame on Dec. 4.

“The Boss” owned the Yankees for 37 years up until his death in 2010, and oversaw seven World Series championships and the team’s transformation into a globally-recognized brand. Steinbrenner and Jeter had a great relationship, as The Boss was largely responsible for the ten-year, $189 million contract given to Jeter after the 2000 season. He also named Jeter the 15th Yankees captain in 2003.

Jeter was then asked about having his number retired next year prior to May 14th’s game against the Houston Astros.

“It’s pretty special. My dream was always to play shortstop for the Yankees. Everything that came along with it, wasn’t a part of the dream,” said Jeter. “When I first came up in ’96, my goal was to just stay here as long as possible. I never thought about having a number retired. It’s kind of hard to believe. What is it going to be like? I have no idea.”

Jeter’s number 2 will be the 21st number retired by the Yankees. His longtime teammates Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada have all had their numbers retired in recent years, but he won’t be taking any pointers from them, nor preparing a speech.

“I wasn’t listening to what they were saying out there, because we were usually messing around,” Jeter said. “I don’t want to be prepared for it. I just want to enjoy it. It’s a special day that they have it on Mother’s Day, which is big for me.”

And once he’s enshrined in Monument Park, how will Jeter want to be remembered? For being a Yankee, of course.

“I just always wanted to be known as a player that had respect for the game, respect for my teammates, my opponents, the media, the fans, the organization,” said Jeter. “The history of this organization — there’s more history with the Yankee organization than a lot of teams put together. In my mind it’s the greatest organization in all of sports. It means a lot being remembered as a Yankee.”

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