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Jeter, who ends his 20-year career this season, is no stranger to charity work. The 39-year-old’s other philanthropic efforts include the Turn 2 Foundation, which helps teens and children avoid drug and alcohol addiction.
As for his teammates, they were naturally filled with nothing but praise. “He’s given me a lot,” said Roberts, the Yankees’ second baseman. “He was one of those guys earlier in my career who helped me a lot. In around 2003 when I was starting off, he boosted my confidence by saying that he thought I could hit .300 in the big leagues and be big in my career. I don’t know whether he believed in me or not, but when you’re young and impressionable it’s everything to you. I owe him for that.”
Roberts — who said he’d retire in the next few years — said he was sad to see his teammate leave. “On and off the field, all good things come to an end, but it doesn’t mean at all he’s going away. It’s sad, though, that it’s his last year,” he said.
Last year or not, Jeter said he’s ending on a high note: “I still have a future [in baseball] now that I have to focus on.”
And when it came to the task at hand — styling — Jeter was equally focused.
“I think that’s what this week [Yankees Hope Week] is about, to recognize people who give back to the community, and for us it’s fun to be a part of,” he said, sporting white Nike high-tops and a Movado watch (he has an endorsement contract with the brand). “You know, you hear stories, but to actually come out and meet the guys and the wonderful people that are doing this sort of hits home for us. It’s a week we all look forward to as players.”
If that means Jeter — who isn’t known for his love of fashion — has to play stylist, he’ll be game.
“Well, I think clothes make you feel good,” he said. “I put on a pin-stripe uniform every day, so I feel pretty good when I’m out there playing, but I think that obviously when you have better clothes on, you feel pretty good about yourself and you know on top of the clothes these guys are getting great mentorships and workshops that they’re attending. So this is something that can be life changing.”
Perhaps a styling future is in the horizon after retirement?
“I have enough problems putting this together,” he said. “[I have on] jeans and a T-shirt, so I need as much help as I can get. My sister will pick some things out — she’ll purchase some things for me and send them to me. So I don’t really know much about clothes, I guess!”
Ellsbury echoed Jeter’s sentiments.
“In terms of styling experience, I mean, not really. I have three younger brothers and that’s pretty much the extent of it, but this was pretty neat,” he said.
When it comes to personal style, he said it’s help from his wife Kelsey that gets him through the day.
“It’s a little combo, you know. I’ll put it on and see what she thinks, and you know, most of the time it’s pretty good, but other times she’ll let me know, ‘Hey, maybe not that,’” he said.
In terms of the best-dressed teammate? Both Ellsbury and Kuroda nominated Roberts.
“Me? They picked me?” Roberts said, smiling. “Well, I do like fashion, I enjoy it. I like Diesel, Ted Baker and Armani suits. But my wife likes to shop and she dresses me, so my style definitely got better after I got married. Jeter has good style, too.”
Whether it’s fashion-related or not, Jeter is obviously eyeing a future after baseball. He’s already embarked on a publishing venture, Jeter Publishing, a partnership with Simon & Schuster. The company’s first book, “The Contract,” a novel for readers ages eight to 12 and loosely based on Jeter’s own life, will make its debut later this year.
Asked if there would be any fashion books down the line, Jeter coyly answered: “I can’t tell you that now. I don’t know about that, but I have to announce that first.”