November 22, 2011
He's won Gold Gloves, World Series MVPs and more baseball accolades than just about anyone else in the game. Now, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is getting a different kind of honor: His alma mater is naming its baseball field after him.
As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Kalamazoo (Mich.) Central High approved a committee's recommendation that the school officially name its baseball field "Derek Jeter Field." While it's unknown whether the field will be re-christened in time for the 2012 baseball season, the board approval all but guarantees that the field will eventually bear the 1992 Kalamazoo Central grad's moniker.
It was at Central that Jeter blossomed into a top MLB draft prospect, hitting .508 with four homers and 23 RBIs in just 23 games as a senior. Even more impressively, he struck out only once all season.
Those statistics -- as well as a handful of stirring personal scouting testimonials -- encouraged the Yankees to draft Jeter with the sixth overall pick in the 1992 MLB draft, despite Jeter's scholarship offer from the University of Michigan.
Jeter famously chose the Yankees over the Maize and Blue, and the rest is history. In fact, it's a history that Central is trying to tap back into in any way that it can. The school already inducted Jeter into its Hall of Fame in 2003.
Now, all future Central teams will be reminded of the school's most famous baseball alum, and Jeter will get what might be one of the more unique and unexpected honors of his ongoing career.