(New York City)—The New York Yankees, celebrating the closing days of Derek Jeter’s long and respected career as their team captain and perennial All-Star, have reportedly appealed to the Vatican to “fast track” what could eventually be Jeter’s designation as a full-fledged saint in the Catholic Church.
“Derek means so much to our team, our fans, the city of New York, basically everyone, everywhere,” said Brian Cashman, Yankee General Manager. “His brilliant career is coming to an end, but we know that his influence and legacy will continue. Proclaiming him a saint will be a helpful step in that direction.”
The canonization of a person into official sainthood is normally a lengthy and complicated process, although in recent years, most notably in the case of Pope John Paul, special dispensations have been allowed to shorten the time period. Also, people who become saints are normally dead first, but the Yankees are hoping for a waiver in that category as well.
|An artist's conception of the icon being|
prepared for center field
Whether or not Jeter is a practicing Catholic may also come into play, but shouldn't be a roadblock, says Cashman. "Catholic, Jew, Protestant, Muslim, atheist--we think Derek really transcends all of that."
Jeter, currently batting .260 with 40 RBIs, would need an authenticated miracle to confirm his sainthood. One undocumented incident is now under investigation. When Yankee teammate Jacoby Ellersby broke his bat during a game against the White Sox in late August, Jeter later took the bat, rubbed it, and handed it back to Ellersby—in perfect condition. Another unidentified teammate also reportedly saw Jeter carrying on a friendly conversation with Ichiro Suzuki—in fluent Japanese.
“Whatever happens with the sainthood thing, we’re making sure Derek will not be forgotten by Yankee fans,” said Cashman. A statue of Jeter is now being planned for Yankee Stadium, a 75-foot-tall structure that may also serve as the stadium’s right field foul pole. However, should the drive for canonization succeed, team officials have discussed adding a relic off of Jeter's person - perhaps a bone chip from the ankle surgery he underwent in 2012 - to Monument Park in place of the standard plaque.