“Don’t let my teammates down. Where I go, they go,” Ramirez recalled. “I’ve got to be their leader, keep my head up and play hard. Be a leader on and off the field.”
So it was that Ramirez took on a leadership role with the Marlins early in his career. He was only 22, working on an eventual Rookie of the Year campaign, when he met Jeter during a series against the Yankees in June 2006.
When the Yankees’ shortstop announced his retirement Wednesday, Ramirez wrote an unusually candid tweet:
Derek Jeter is my idol, and will always be the example that I strive to follow. It's been an honor to share a diamond with The Captain #2
— Hanley Ramirez (@HanleyRamirez) February 12, 2014
Why is Jeter Ramirez’s idol?
“Because he has respect for the game on and off the field, and how much dedication he’s put into the games,” Ramirez said. “We’re going to miss him in the game. Nobody I think can replace him.”
And not many players can get through to Ramirez like Jeter.
Some bullet points for Valentine’s Day: