Derek Jeter Named Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Year"

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Derek Jeter Named Sports Illustrated's
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

While Derek Jeter may have missed out on winning the American League MVP Award to Joe Mauer, this is one award no one can take away from him.

It was announced today that Jeter will be named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year.

This is the first time that a Yankee has won the award in the 56 years of its existence, and the first time a baseball player has won since 2004, when the entire Boston Red Sox team was honored.

Jeter had one of the best years of his career in 2009, as he was ranked in the top 10 of several major American League categories. This led to the claiming of his fourth AL Silver Slugger Award and fourth AL Gold Glove.

But, as Sports Illustrated points out, the award does not simply recognize great accomplishments on the field, but off the field as well.

Jeter has been seen working with many charities, particularly with his Turn-2 Foundation, which he founded in 1996.

The organization concentrates on encouraging children to avoid abusive drugs and alcohol while improving social skills, such as leadership.

It truly makes me happy to see one of my childhood idols win this award. I myself have tried to emulate Jeter in many ways since I was probably about 10 years old, both while playing baseball and while presenting myself around other people.

Whether you are trying to copy his batting stance or help others in need, the Yankee captain is certainly a great example of what a person should strive to be.

Award well deserved.

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