The thing about being a sports icon is that people will go out of their way to fawn all over you while you're in your prime. When your skills begin to fade as you age, and your play diminishes, people begin to forget about you. Or even worse, begin talking about how you should have retired long before you did because you're just tarnishing your legacy. We've seen it happen with players like Michael Jordan, Cal Ripken Jr., Johnny Unitas, Ken Griffey Jr., Joe Montana, Larry Bird, and many, many others.
It seems almost unthinkable that a negative word would ever be spoken about these legends of the game, players who helped shape and define, not just their teams, but the leagues they played in. In their primes, these players were revered. They were treated like gods and put upon pedestals so high, you'd need a spaceship to reach them.
Longtime Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, announced before the season began that 2014, his 20th, would be his final season in the major leagues. Some have whispered over the last couple of seasons that he should have retired sooner, that his skills have diminished, and that he's not the same player he once was. But to many of us – even those of us who aren't Yankees fans – Jeter is pulling the pin at just the right time. Even though he's clearly lost a step or two, he's still performing at a high level, and is being productive for his club. No, he's not the same player he was 20 years ago, but then, who can do the same things they could 20 years ago? But he's still an icon and an important part of the game. Not seeing Jeter in the middle of the Yankees infield will be a strange experience for baseball fans everywhere.
Of course, along with the announcement of an icon's retirement, comes the farewell tour. Clubs around the league are falling all over themselves to give Jeets a parting gift worthy of his status as a baseball legend and icon. But what do you get for the guy who literally has everything – or at least as the money to get everything? Some clubs have put together some really terrific farewell gifts, some have been “so-so,” and others have completely swung and missed.
This list will focus on that last category. It's a good thing that it's the thought that counts because here are the 10 stupidest gifts Derek Jeter has received on his farewell tour...
10 Chicago Cubs
9 Chicago White Sox
8 New York Mets
7 Minnesota Twins
6 Oakland A's
5 St. Louis Cardinals
4 Houston Astros
3 Milwaukee Brewers
2 Baltimore Orioles
Showing that it's not just big league ballclubs that hand out crappy gifts, sports equipment manufacturer Rawlings got in on the Jeter Farewell Tour. They presented him with a gift suitable to every teenage boy's room... or for the room of every adult male who's never mentally/emotionally progressed beyond his teenage years. Rawlings presented Jeter with a giant leather chair shaped like a baseball glove, and matching ottoman of course. Somehow, we don't see Jeets and/or whatever supermodel girlfriend he has at the moment, sitting back and relaxing in that thing. But hey, it's the thought that counts, right?
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