Today the Daily News of NYC announced that shortstop and Yankee Captain Derek Jeter is their New Yorker of the Year.  Calling him a “prince in pinstripes,” the News writes that although Jeter did not do something spectacular like saving 100+ lives by landing a plane in the Hudson River, or become the first Hispanic appointed to the Supreme Court, he is Beloved in the city of New York and does amazing work for his charity.

Derek Jeter (center) celebrates the Yankees 2009 World Series Championship this past November with the rest of the Yankees team, including Jorge Posada (left), Mariano Rivera (right) and Andy Pettitte (behind)

In the article, the Daily News lauds his work with his charity, the Turn 2 Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children in Michigan and New York and his honor and integrity as an athlete during times when many of his fellow athletes are carrying guns into nightclubs (Plaxico Buress) or taking steroids or making big contract demands in the media.

The paper goes on to say:

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This is a man who has the qualities adults admire and children can look up to. Somehow he combines enormous talent with hard work, riches with responsibility, fantastic success with confident modesty and intense competitiveness with true sportsmanship.

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Although I have a lot of respect for the man,  I am not sure if Jeter should be the New Yorker of the Year.  In its simplest form, the story of Derek Jeter in 2009, is the story of a man who humbly and respectfully did his job well and used his influence and deep pockets to benefit charities.  Jeter is truly an exceptional man, one we will all remember for the rest of our lives and decades after he has left the limelight of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Instead, I feel the New Yorker of the Year award should be given to someone more deserving, such as Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States; a woman who rose up from the projects in the Bronx, overcame the death of her father at age 9 and has persisted with diabetes her entire life.

But when it comes down to it, the Daily News wants to sell papers – and which paper would sell more?  Obviously, the one lauding Jeter, instead of Sotomayor or another.

That being said, all the congratulations to Mr Jeter.