Earlier tonight, one of the greatest shortstops ever to play the game reached another milestone. Derek Jeter tied Lou Gehrig on the Yankees' all-time hits list. This, along with all of his championship rings and personal achievement awards, should certify his place among the best to ever play the game.
This is exactly why I fear the worst whenever I hear people use his name in the steroid talk. When I heard that Alex Rodriguez had used a banned substance, one of the greatest players of this era was knocked off his pedestal. From the home run power to the $275 million deal he signed with the Yankees, A-Rod had it all. Destined to be the future all-time home run leader, a positive test for steroids revoked his immortal status.
Another one of my baseball heroes found his name on the same list as Rodriguez. Long time Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa was my favorite player throughout childhood. The way he could change a game in the blink of an eye was something to be seen. Watching him blast home runs onto Waveland Avenue was one of my greatest memories as a kid at Wrigley Field. Even he got bit by the bug and people will forever doubt the amazing seasons he had with the Cubs.
Eventually, I got over the fact that two of baseball's best were on that list. There are still plenty of people who have yet to be named. For the sake of major league baseball, Derek Jeter better not be on that list. His long career allowed him to break into the league in the middle of the steroid era and coast smoothly through 2009 without a hitch. His numbers rank him among best baseball players of all-time. A chink in the armor would ruin any credibility the MLB had during the 1990's, and pluck another superstar from the Hall of Fame. As a big Derek Jeter fan, I hope he's telling the truth.