It was a given after his called it quits in 2014, but Yankees legend Derek Jeter is officially set to be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 26.
All but one BBWAA voter checked off Jeter's box on their ballot (we'll get to that later), which gave him the second-best voting percentage next to former teammate Mariano Rivera's unanimous decision last year. It was a sure thing that Jeter was going to see his plaque enshrined next to the game's greats, but he admitted during the Hall of Fame presser on Wednesday that he never thought about, even after his career was finished.
"This is something that is not a part of the dream when you're playing," Jeter said in his opening remarks, sitting next to Larry Walker, who will be inducted with him. "You're playing and you're just trying to keep your job. That's first and foremost. And you're trying to compete year in and year out, and you're trying to win and when you're career is over and done with then it's up to the writers.
"It's hard to put into words. I've told everyone throughout the course of not only my career but in the last five years up until yesterday, I just didn't want to talk about it because I didn't want to jinx any opportunities that I may have. I never took this for granted, I understand that these are the best players to ever play in the game, and when you're in it, I just never necessarily sat down and viewed myself that way."
Since he got the news, Jeter has heard from a multitude of people congratulating him, but he had his close family and friends around him for the announcement.
"It's been a whirlwind. I never just sat down and assumed this was going to happen. This is not an assumption that you make," he explained.
So, as Jeter donned his new Hall of Fame jersey and cap, here's some of his best quotes from his presser...
Words of wisdom from "The Boss" and "Mr. T"
Two people synonymous with Jeter's career is the late Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner and long-time manager Joe Torre. Throughout Jeter's 20-year career, these two played a major role in his development, and he reflected on how they both impacted him.
"The Boss was simple: a win. That was it," Jeter said. "He was an old football coach, and I joked about this before, he had a real tough time -- I say this in the most respectful way -- he had a real tough time comprehending that over the course of a 162-game season, you may lose a game. You laugh but that's how he thought. I can say I had the same mindset as I took the field.
"Mr. T, he's probably the best communicator I've been around. He preached you treat everyone fairly."
How the minors impacted him
Jeter was the sixth overall pick in the 1992 MLB Draft, and he signed with the Yankees one day after his birthday on June 27. He was a standout at Kalamazoo High School in Michigan, but when he got to the minors, everything changed.
And he put that bluntly.
"The minor leagues, for me, I was completely overmatched," he said. "I did it my whole life. It was a learning experience, you go through some growing pains and you have to overcome it."
He obviously overcame those struggles, and would make it up to the bigs. But his first stint didn't last long, and he has a reason why...
Jeter blames Mariano Rivera for being sent down
Jeter played in 13 games when he was called up in 1995 when then-Yankees shortstop Tony Fernandez got hurt. As Bill Evers, Jeter's Triple-A manager at the time, told SNY's Anthony McCarron he was going to go back down when Fernandez got back healthy.
But Jeter told everyone present that he blames Rivera to this day for being sent down, and here's why:
"Getting sent down was all Mariano's fault. It's true," Jeter said. "Mariano was a starter at the time and he wasn't a very good starter. He had a bad game and they sent us both down on the same day. So I thank Mariano for the only time getting demoted in my professional baseball career."
Jeter doesn't care about the unanimous vote
The question was bound to come, and it did when one reporter asked Jeter what he thinks about the one voter that didn't check his name in his ballot. And Jeter didn't even sweat it.
"See, that's where our minds are a little bit different," he began. "I focus on the ones that did. It takes a lot of people to all agree to get you to this point. So I'm not thinking about that. I'm happy I'm sitting on this stage right now, and that's not something that crosses my mind."
Jeter's role in Miami is to give back to the game
Jeter didn't sail off into the sunset with his wife and kids when his playing days were over. Instead, he became part owner and CEO of the Marlins, which he helped strip down and start from square one.
It's a daunting project for the Marlins, as the team has struggled to put a consistent winning product on the field since Jeter and the new ownership group took over. But it's one that Jeter is putting his all into because he wants to give back to the game.
"I want to win as much as anyone," Jeter said. "I didn't get into this to lose. I could've stayed home and retired -- just ask my wife. She'd probably be a little happier if I was at home every day and retired. But I got into this because I always wanted to give back to the game at the highest level. I wanted to build something that we could be proud of and everyone in Miami can be proud of."