I was 6 years old when I first saw Derek Jeter slash a hard grounder up the middle for a single, a Jeterian single, if you will. It was his rookie year, and there was just something about him that I loved as a kid.
It was no coincidence I chose shortstop as my first position recreationally (and yes, I attempted the jump throw many times to no avail). But as I got older, playing baseball more competitively, I took after control pitchers like Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte. I'd try to paint the corners and spot big, looping curveballs for strikes. I knew if I had control like them I could still be effective even if I wasn't the fastest pitcher. In my best playing days, I was a reliever and whipped out my imitation of Mo's cutter.
His generosity and compassion is reminiscent of the late, great Stan Musial. Read this if you're not sure what I mean.
These sessions were supposed to last 30 minutes before pregame stretching, but as the tour rolled on they grew to 40 and then 50, sometimes even clearing an hour. The coaching staff would occasionally get concerned with the spillover, and so be it. Mariano Rivera didn't think a half-hour was cutting it for what he had to say and, more importantly, for what they had to say.