Sunday, May 29, 2011

Charles Jeter's Career at Fisk University

Derek's father was moved from shortstop to second base at Fisk University in Nashville to accommodate a teammate with a stronger throwing arm, Victor Lesley.

From "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter"

Charles Jeter was hardly thrilled with the demotion yet never mentioned it to his coach. Though he did not have a male figure in his household while growing up -- Jeter never met his father -- he knew how to conduct himself as a perfect gentleman, a credit to the mother and housecleaner named Lugenia who raised him.

"Cordial, nice, carried himself the right way," Fisk head coach James Smith said. "I never heard Jeter use a curse word. Ever."

On a strong team comprised of African-Americans from the South and a small circle of Caribbean recruits from St. Thomas, Jeter was an excellent fielder and base runner, a decent hitter who liked to punch the ball to right field, and a selfless teammate who knew how to advance a runner from one base to the next.

Jeter was as reliable a sacrifice bunter as Smith had ever seen. "You could ask him to bunt with three strikes on him if the rules had allowed it," Smith said.

Charles Jeter fit the serious-minded mold. Only once did Smith have to reprimand him, and that was after Jeter was thrown out trying to steal second. Smith had never given him the steal sign, and when a teammate committed the same mortal baserunning sin the next inning, Smith went ballistic.

Smith shifted the incumbent (second baseman) to right field to clear room for Jeter, whose quickness and hand speed made him a natural at turning the double play. Jeter had a glove as flat as a pancake, "and we teased him about it all the time," said Ulric Smalls, one of his teammates from St. Thomas. "When Jeter put it on the ground it had no shape, but he was flawless in the field."

From "The Captain"

No comments: