Derek Jeter spent his playing life dominating the back pages and the gossip pages, too. For a man with a mythical playing career it seemed, at times, that his personal life was just as captivating to audiences.
A lot of it hinged on his romantic adventures as one of New York’s most eligible bachelors, but it was more than that. Here was the Yankees captain, the ineffable personification of cool, and fans and detractors alike simply couldn’t look away. The downside to all of that is that, especially later in his career, all Jeter wanted was for people to look away. He was tired of every date being chronicled on Page Six and probably tired, too, of his well-inked reputation as a playboy. By the time he retired, he bristled at questions that weren’t related to balls, strikes, and the numbers on the scoreboard.
It’s no surprise, then, that the settled-down Jeter of retirement eschews intrusive looks into his personal life. We know that at 42, he married model Hannah Davis, then 26, in 2016 and that the couple has two daughters, Bella, 3, and Story, 2. Jeter, now 47, doesn’t post photos of his children, with one rare exception being in January 2020, when he put up the video of the phone call that officially made him a Hall of Famer. They’re happy, bouncing toddlers, with their father’s dark hair.
In many ways, Jeter’s desire to control the narrative — likely born of years of dealing with the exact opposite — has dominated a lot of what he’s done after his playing career ended. Jeter took something of a baseball breather directly after retirement, and, five days after his lst game, launched the Players’ Tribune, a media outlet that put the story directly into athlete’s hands. Whereas players generally have to rely on the media to talk about their lives and their game, the Players’ Tribune worked with first-person narratives, sometimes written by the athletes themselves, or as told to a writer.
Jeter also wanted to be in control of his own team, and waded into the waters in 2014, in a failed bid to buy the Buffalo Bills. He finally got his chance in 2017, when he became part of the group to buy the Miami Marlins. The three-year hiatus from baseball had been long enough and Jeter, though he had only a 4% stake in the team, quickly became its poster boy. He’s now CEO of the Marlins and is consulted for day-to-day operations.
It hasn’t been a thoroughly successful venture, with the Marlins finishing last in the NL East in 2018 and 2019, but they did show life in 2020, finishing second during the COVID-shortened season. They’re currently looking at the potential of another last-place finish.
Jeter and the Marlins did, though, make history November of last year, hiring Kim Ng as the first female general manager in baseball. And there is Jeter’s upcoming Hall of Fame induction.
Jeter was one shy of being voted in unanimously (his teammate, Mariano Rivera, is the only player to accomplish the feat), and his ceremony had to be postponed to this year because of the pandemic. He’ll be joined by Larry Walker and Ted Simmons with Marvin Miller being honored posthumously. With the ceremony now moved to September, fans will be able to see the captain inducted in person, and Jeter will likely be the focus of all the TV cameras.
Just like he’s always been.