Last year, Mariano Rivera was showered with gifts during his farewell season. It seems the goodwill has already started for the Yankees' departing star shortstop, Derek Jeter, who was just granted the title of 11th-best leader on the planet.
CNN Money posted Fortune Magazine's list of "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders." Near the top is none other than the 39-year-old traipsing into his final season with the Yankees before heading into retirement.
As noted in the report, the list was produced by Fortune Magazine senior editor Geoff Colvin, and it starts with names such as Pope Francis (leader of the Catholic Church), Angela Merkel (German Chancellor) and Alan Mulally (Ford Motor Co. CEO).
At No. 11, we finally get a taste of the sports world.
Here is what Colvin has to say about the Yankees star shortstop:
As he begins his 20th and final season in pinstripes, Jeter remains the type of role-model player that even a Red Sox fan must grudgingly respect. It's not the five World Series rings he's won or his team record for career hits. In a steroid-tainted, reality-TV era, Jeter, the son of two Army veterans, continues to stand out because of his old-school approach: Never offer excuses or give less than maximum effort.
Jeter is hardly the only name from the sports landscape to have made it onto the list. At No. 20, we get a three-way tie between basketball coaches: Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich and Dawn Staley of the University of South Carolina women's basketball team.
Leadership, like coaching, is about getting all members to work towards one goal, as Colvin writes:
There's no playbook for how to become an elite leader in basketball. Whether it's John Wooden teaching his UCLA players the proper way to tie their shoes or Zen master (and new Knicks president) Phil Jackson referencing Buddha, the point is to get five players working in harmony -- however you do it.
The trio mentioned makes the list for their ability to get all players to buy into team spirit and camaraderie.
As for Jeter, he has amassed more than just 3,316 hits and 256 home runs during his 19-year career; he has garnered quite the fan following and a sizable level of respect from his peers.
Back in 2011, ESPN's Glenn Liebman compiled a short list of quotes from celebrities praising Jeter.
It seems fitting to include one from Michael Jordan, someone who managed to get the most out of his teammates: "He has qualities that separate superstars from everyday people, and a lot of it is attributable to his great family background."
We only have to remember Rivera's season-long going-away party to get a clue as to how Jeter will ride off into the sunset.
As Opening Day nears, there are some who believe his time in the league as a productive star has passed. However, his legacy speaks for itself because he is still making quite the mark off the field.