Jeter and Obama make a great combo for interviews
Future Baseball Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and President Barack Obama are boys. Not necessarily super tight, but they talk trash on the golf course and dap each other up when they’re both at the same baseball game in Cuba. You know, the usual.
On Wednesday, The Players’ Tribune (which Jeter founded) released an interview with the commander in chief and the New York Yankees legend in which — from the Roosevelt Room of the White House — the two recently talked about their lives, their initiatives and what’s next for each of them.
At one point, they discussed what they would have told their younger selves, at 15 and 25 years old. The exchange was funny. Earlier in the talk, the four-time World Series champion described how his dad had an old collection of clippings that made him want to be a better ballplayer than his father.
Jeter: I did something my final season, I kept a little diary. Every day I wrote something in there. How I was feeling after every game. I don’t know if too many people know about it. I’ve yet to look back at it. The idea was, I don’t have children, and I thought if and when I had kids.
Obama: Dad actually had some game?
Jeter: Yes, sort of like my dad’s scrapbook that he had, now I have photos. … But I wish I would have done that throughout my entire career. Because there are so many experiences you have that you tend to forget. So, if I could go back to 25, I’d say do it. Every day.”
Obama: At 15, I would have told myself: Hit the books and stop goofing off. Because at 15, I was not the most responsible young man. I loved basketball, but outside of basketball, I was getting by on charm and wit, but not taking my schoolwork as seriously as I could have. And when I think back now and say, ‘If I just invested the time…’
Jeter: Things … would have worked out a lot better for you?
Obama: You know I might have made something of myself, doggone it. Fifteen years old I would have said work harder, get more serious. … At 25, my advice would have been to lighten up.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is exactly how comfortable Jeter was in that room and that setting. And the measured replies, along with the light sprinkling of humor and self-reflection, made his demeanor seem, dare I say, presidential.
Far less popular athletes have made it in the field of politics. Maybe Jeter will be the next to do so.