In professional team sports, the MVP award goes out at the end of the regulated season to the athlete who has embodied elite value to their team
A player considered being above all the rest. It is an honor for an individual that is comparable to a team winning a championship—in a sense.
The award is based on stats and production that top the rest. This incorporates the obvious, for reasons as the main way to eliminate the list of nominees. However, for me—a fan—it means much more than just that.
A player who selflessly plays that game by the rules but is by no means a wimp, nor a loud mouth. He is an athlete who is proud of their sport’s history, as well as the regarded players before him.
The MVP is an athlete who discovers it is not his right to be a professional athlete, but a gift that has to be sacred through hard work and dedication.
When world athletes meet in the Olympics or the World Baseball Classic—representing their own countries—you get a team of MVP caliber players. The players vote for a captain and if a room full of your own peers—who are the best of the best elect you to be their captain, that speaks more to society than the stats on the score sheet.
Anyone will agree that the first lesson taught in gym class is to be a good sport and a team player. It is the fundamentals of displaying sportsmanship.
Plenty of MVP awards have gone to athletes like Lebron James—who do not display these fundamental basics. The kind of message that is being sent is one where stats are all that matter.
That is the furthest thing from the truth. It is so confusing if a player is the named MVP because they are supposed to be perfect and invaluable to a team. There are perfect examples all around.
The game of baseball took a beating that is tough to recover from. The game deserves to get some of its integrity back. With all the PED talk and craziness of a list, baseball is being destroyed one name at a time.
This cements why this season’s MVP has to special. A player produces top stats, but also displays what the game of baseball still is. It has to be the story that tops the baseball world by getting everyone to stop and remember why it is America’s pastime.
The answer might be the easiest decision to make.
Simply, it would be to crown Derek Jeter the MVP...because he deserves it.
It sends a message to the kids who idolize baseball players. That you can play fairly, respectfully and courageously—win or lose.
Jeter is the template of an MVP and his stats are good enough to be a candidate. The persona that Jeter characterizes so consistently is more valuable to baseball than any RBI or home runs hit.
Jeter is the most valuable player this season. He is the Yankees captain, but he is also America’s captain—baseball’s captain. No one represents baseball to the fans, to the players, and to the world more than Jeter does.
In addition, the simple reason being is what this athlete is to baseball, because baseball would not be what it is without Jeter.